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Falkville secures $947,427 in funds

By Ronnie Thomas 340-2438

FALKVILLE — Falkville is ready not only to upgrade sewer lines but to bore under Interstate 65 to reach the BP station and future developments.

State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, set the wheels in motion Thursday when he announced that the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs approved a $400,000 matching grant for the upgrade. The town will have a match commitment of $147,427.

Grant writer Terry Acuff said an indirect benefit of the grant is that it allows Falkville to utilize another $400,000 grant it has had since 2004. U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, assisted with the funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The EPA grant, a 55/45 match grant, required a $330,000 match," Acuff said, "which means the town would have to commit to a $730,000 project. Now, coupled with the other grant, Falkville can move forward with a $947,427 project."

J.L. Pike, senior wastewater operator at Falkville, said the town will use the Community Development Block Grant from ADECA to replace crumbling 8-inch clay pipe. The rehab work will improve service to 209 residents on Piney Grove Street, Douglas Road, East Pine Street, East Main Street and Patton Street. He said the work will probably stretch for more than 600 feet.

"The sewer system has been in place since the early 1960s, and we were having a lot of problems with tree roots growing through the clay lines," Pike said. "We will replace them with 8-inch PVC pipe."

Acuff, with Community Consultants of Huntsville, said the town has major sewer needs between U.S. 31 and I-65.

"It's a real plum that while they can rehab on the east side of Douglas Road, they also can extend sewer to the west side of the interstate," he said.

Orr said he congratulates Mayor Jimmie Walker and the Falkville Town Council for "aggressive and visionary leadership" in securing the grant from the competitive small cities fund.

Orr said that almost 84 percent of the residents who will benefit are of low or moderate income.

Walker was not available for comment.

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