The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

News

April 27, 2009

Major sidewalk project planned

The city of Athens has received nearly $400,000 in stimulus package funds through the Alabama Department of Transportation to build a greenway, or major sidewalk project, on the east side of Athens.

Monday, the Athens City Council approved on a four votes and one abstention from Councilman Jimmy Gill to build the about a mile-and-a-half of sidewalk. Gill abstained from voting because he said he did not understand how the city’s portion would be funded.

The city has to provide a 20-percent match to the $385,000 coming from ALDOT, which $77,000. Out of those funds, the council approved a $25,000 fee to Taz Morrell Engineering to draw plans for what is officially known at the U.S. 31 Pedestrian Facilities and Streetscape Project.

However, this portion of the project does is not adjacent to U.S. As outlined in a memo from Public Works Department Director James Rich, one leg of the sidewalks will extend southward down Lindsay Lane from the roundabout at Nick Davis to Publix shopping center. The other leg would extend eastward from the roundabout to Linton Road.

Marks said the $77,000 in matching funds would come from city reserves.

Mayor Dan Williams said the city had applied for $1.8 million in stimulus funds in sidewalk, parking lot and three building projects. In total, the city applied for $21.3 million in stimulus money to fund 25 projects, which includes several large utility projects.

“I received eight letters turning down eight projects,” Williams told the council Monday.



Other business



In other business, the council:

• Awarded to low bidder Keenum Construction the $545,490 job of building a rail spur to Custom Polymers in Elm Street Industrial Park. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer a Community Development Block Grant for $200,000 for the project; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide a $160,000 grant and the remainder of the funding will come from Limestone County and from the company.

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