On Friday, December 2, 2022, the City of Eutaw held a press conference to announce receipt of grant of $5.6 million, $2.6 for drinking water and $3 million for sewage, from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) State Revolving Loan Fund.
This will allow the City of Eutaw to proceed with water and wastewater system improvements for the unified Eutaw and Boligee water and wastewater systems.
This funding, which is a grant with no matching fund requirements, was made possible with funding from the Biden Administration initiatives,
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Congresswoman Terri Sewell was instrumental in urging the state to use these Federal funds to benefit projects in the rural Black Belt counties within her Congressional District. Sewell was the only member of the Alabama delegation that voted in favor of this legislation in the past year.
The $5.6 million is the first installment of additional funding to be provided over the next three to five years for improvement of the joint Eutaw and Boligee water and sewage systems. This system also provides services to the Crossroads of America Industrial Park at Boligee.
Mayor Latasha Johnson expressed thanks to the many persons and agencies that made the project possible including Congresswoman Terri Sewell, John Laney and Jim Graciano of ADEM and project engineer, Angela Henline of Cassidy Company in Tuscaloosa, who will be designing the project.
Corey Martin, City of Eutaw Water Operator, said, “The first part of the project will be to renovate and replace six lift stations which move sewage back to the lagoon in Eutaw. The second priority involves bringing the Boligee water tower back on line to relieve water quality and pressure issues. We do not know all the problems with the system and how they will be addressed until our engineer makes her official assessment and design plans for repairs.”
Mayor Hattie Samuels of Boligee, commented, “The Town of Boligee
Local funds were being drained to make constant repairs in the water and sewage systems. This is truly a blessing – to receive these grant funds to give our residents a better quality of life.”
Mayor Samuels read from a statement sent by Congresswoman Terri Sewell, which said,” This is GREAT news! For too long, Alabama’s rural communities have suffered from failing wastewater systems that have put the health and well-being of our residents at risk.
“Access to clean water and adequate wastewater infrastructure is a basic human right, and thus funding for the City of Eutaw will be instrumental as we work to end this crisis.
“I am proud to have voted I favor of both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan, which made these grants possible. I will continue to fight for more of these critical investments across Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.”
Governor Kay Ivey sent a message, which was read Greene County Commission Chair, Corey Cockrell, stating “In Alabama, we believe in helping our neighbors, and that exactly what the city of Eutaw and the city of Boligee are doing here. I’m proud to see both cities come together and strike a mutually beneficial compromise that will go a long way to improving the quality of life for the residents of each community.”