is depot project really derailed?

Published 1:43 am Thursday, July 7, 2016


It’s unclear what the city of Opp will do after the city council rejected the low bid of $812,581 for the depot project Tuesday night.

Local contractor Wyatt Sasser submitted the low bid.

The city was to pay for the project using a $400,000 funds from Transportation Alternative Program funding in which they were to provide 20 percent in matching funds.

On Wednesday, Mayor John Bartholomew, who was still disconcerted by the council’s actions, said he and City Planner Jason Bryan were studying the situation.

“We are hoping to have a solution in the near future,” he said.

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Bartholomew said he and city planner Jason Bryan had hundreds of hours in the project and he said he felt the council’s decision would affect the city’s chances of getting additional grants.

Alabama Department of Transportation spokesperson Tony Harris said that if a municipality chooses not to accept the ALDOT OK’d bid, the ball is in their court.

“If they no longer wish to fund and develop the project, we will reissue the money to someone else,” he said. “But they need to notify us.”

Harris said not taking the funds doesn’t hurt a city’s chances of getting further funding.

“It’s application-based and they compete with others for those funds,” he said.

Harris said it is unusual that a municipality seeks funding and then decides it no longer wants to fund a project.