In a series of meetings, held September 13, 16 and 19, the City of Eutaw and the Town of Boligee have reached agreement to consolidate their water and wastewater (sewage) systems, under the ownership, operation, and management of the City of Eutaw.
The negotiations have been conducted over several months between Eutaw and Boligee mayors, council-persons, attorneys and engineers, as well as the main infrastructure funding sources of ADEM and USDA Rural Development. The Greene County Industrial Development Authority, who owns the water and sewer system in the Crossroads of America Industrial Park in Boligee, which is tied into the Boligee and Eutaw systems, has also been involved in the discussions, to ensure that there is no diminution in the service to the industrial park.
Boligee, which currently receives water and wastewater services from Eutaw, has agreed to sell all its assets including pumps, hydrants, water lines, sewer lines, lift stations, collection lines, manholes, equipment and other assets and records to the City of Eutaw for $1.00. The Boligee 75,000-gallon, water tank, at 767 County Road 76 in Boligee is specifically exempted from the sale and will continue to belong to the Town of Boligee. The Town of Boligee will continue to be responsible to USDA Rural Development for a water system loan.
The agreement is also subject to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) providing sufficient and satisfactory funding to the City of Eutaw to repair and improve the consolidated water and waste water systems. ADEM will be using funds from the American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress this year, in providing the funds. ADEM has been involved in all the negotiations and has assured the parties that the funding will be available and may be phased in over the next few years. Congresswomen Terri Sewell, who was the only Alabama Congressperson to vote for this infrastructure improvement legislation, has also been involved in urging full, non-match funding for Greene County projects.
The City of Eutaw will operate and maintain the consolidated water and waste water systems. The agreement gives Boligee the right to repurchase its system at the end of five years for $1.00, provided they could receive a permit to operate their own water and wastewater systems.
At its special called meeting on September 19, 2022, the Eutaw City Council agreed to hire Angela Henline of the Cassady Engineering Company of Northport as its engineer to handle the water and sewer improvement grants. The engineering firm comes recommended by its experience in water and wastewater improvement projects in west Alabama. ADEM is requiring preliminary plans and estimates for repair of the Eutaw-Boligee Water-Sewer system by the end of October to proceed with funding.
In other business at its September 13 regular meeting, the City of Eutaw agreed to the following:
• Approved $26,000 contribution (using AARP funds) to the Greene County EMS for matching funds for an ambulance, power lifter and stretcher for a grant for an ambulance from the Alabama Council of Emergency Medical Services.
• Approved a $49,000 contract with P & M Roofing and Construction Company of Gordo, Alabama for repair and sealing of the roof on the Robert H. Young Community Center (formerly Carver Middle School) in Eutaw.
• Approved the estimate of $23,380.07 KB’s Homeimprovements of Forkland, Alabama, for the repair of the Cafeteria at the Robert H. Young Community Center.
• Approved a voluntary check-off, on city water bills, for support of the Eutaw and surrounding volunteer fire departments.
• Approved a Proclamation supporting National Diaper Need Awareness Week to support the diaper bank operating from Woman-to-Woman’s offices in Eutaw.
• Approved payment of dues for American Water Works Association.
• Approved payment of travel for Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson to attend the International Association of Police Chiefs Conference in Dallas, Texas on October 14-19, 2022.
•Approved payment of bills and claims.