At a special meeting on January 17, 2023, the Eutaw City Council formally approved a request to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for the initial installments of $2.6 million grant for water and $3 million for sewer improvements, for the unified Eutaw-Boligee water and sewer system.
Project Engineer Angela Henline from the Cassady Company in Northport presented a detailed report on the City of Eutaw, Water System Restoration and Resiliency Project, to the council.
The City of Eutaw has submitted a grant preapplication to ADEM for the water system, that includes the Town of Boligee, for $16,464,059 over a five-year period, ending in 2026. The initial $2.6 million will be used for:
a. Backflow prevention, monitoring and flushing improvements to the water system, including the detection of leaks, to project future improvements; and b. Replacement or rehabilitation of the existing Boligee water tank and disconnection of out of service industrial tank at Boligee.
The Project Engineer has also submitted a $14,002,759 grant preapplication to ADEM for the wastewater (sewer) system improvements over the next five years, until the end of 2026. The initial $3 million, requested for 2023, will be used for: a. Standby emergency sewer pump, which will be trailer mounted and used when pumping stations breakdown, b. Critical pump station improvements and monitoring systems, for BP station in Boligee, Boligee Pump Station No. 1, Lower Gainesville Road, Rest Stop, Branch Heights, and Annie Thomas Circle; c. Upgrade Lower Road force main; and d. Lagoon improvements (design only).
Henline said that a public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 5:00 PM, at City Hall for questions and comments from the public on the water and sewer projects. “This is the opportunity for residents of the area to come and learn about these projects and ask any questions they may have,” said Mayor Latasha Johnson.
After the public hearing, Henline said she would complete the grant agreement documents with ADEM and proceed to put out bids for the initial components of the water and sewer projects. The initial components include monitoring for water losses and pumping station efficiencies which will help to develop the next phase of design and construction for the five-year program.
Mayor Johnson indicated that it had been a long struggle to get to this point, but she was pleased that the project would be 100% grant funded and thanked Congresswoman Sewell and ADEM officials for helping in the process. The availability of Federal funding from the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure, and Inflation Recovery Act, all contributed to making this multi-year improvement project work for Eutaw and Boligee’s unified water and sewer system.
At the Eutaw City Council regular meeting on January 24, 2023, the council received a detailed report from Ralph Liverman, financial adviser on the first quarter of the fiscal year (October -December 2022) revenues and expenditures. Revenues from sales tax, fuel taxes and other sources were slightly ahead of projections. Expenses were on target with the budget projections for the quarter.
The Eutaw City Council also approved travel and per diem for several trips for training for Corey Martin, water operator, and other trips for the mayor and financial adviser to represent the city. The council also approved payment of bills and claims, including payrolls.
Mayor Johnson reported that she was working with Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Governor Kay Ivey for Eutaw and Greene County, to be included in the Federal disaster declaration for the tornados on November 29, 2021, and January 12, 2023. If we are included in the declaration, then the city, county and individuals will be able to receive FEMA reimbursement for expenses and losses, due to the storms.