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Hartselle gets 2nd canopy grant
Mayor Dwight Tankersley says city received more funds for phase 2 of downtown's restoration plans

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Calling it a significant accomplishment, Mayor Dwight Tankersley said Monday that Hartselle has received a second grant to replace downtown canopies.

In a letter to the mayor, Gov. Bob Riley said the Alabama Department of Transportation is providing $309,741 to fund phase 2. This phase includes business fronts on Main Street from Sycamore Street to Corsbie Street.

The grant requires a 20 percent match from the city. Most likely this match will be in-kind work.

"This is a very significant grant, and we wouldn't have got it without the help of our legislative delegation," Tankersley said.

Last year, Hartselle received a $480,000 grant for phase 1, which includes business fronts from Railroad Street to Sycamore Street.

Tankersley said phase 1 is in the design and engineering stages. He said the council hopes to bid the project in the fall and start construction in early 2008.

Phase 1 involves 35 property owners and 41 businesses.

"We're not going to do any construction during the holiday shopping season," Tankersley said.

About 30 downtown business owners spoke favorably of the restoration project during a public hearing in January. They encouraged city leaders to make downtown more handicap accessible.

For about four years, the city has talked about replacing the more than 30-year-old canopies, which are deteriorating.

One of the big changes with the new canopies is they will have slanted roofs, which make it easier for city workers to maintain them.

Before phase 1 construction proceeds, city leaders say DOT and the Alabama Historical Commission must sign off on the project.

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