Submitted by Carrie Jones, Grant Writer
The Town of Forkland received a Grant/ Loan Package from the USDA, Rural Development Division -Tuscaloosa Area Office, (Allen Bowen – Acting State Director; Teresa Long- Area Director; Robert Macon- Area Specialist), in the amount of a $31,000 loan, and $89,000 grant. These funds have been used to purchase much needed equipment for the Town of Forkland. When the January 12, 2020 storm hit Forkland, Mayor Charlie McAlpine and the Town Council realized that Forkland was not as prepared as they previously supposed. When disaster strikes, it’s only then that a true assessment of preparedness can be made. After that disaster they decided that something had to be done. Mayor McAlpine sought assistance from USDA and have now been awarded that assistance. The Grant/Loan Package was used to purchase a Backhoe, Grappling Hook, a Tractor, two Chain Saws, and a Pole Saw. This equipment will be used by the Town’s Public Works Division and will assist the Town in addressing basic maintenance needs of the community, including debris removal from storm events. This purchase will also assist the Town in utilizing Town employees to do much of the work the was previously contracted. When Mayor McAlpine came to office he had an agenda and developed a Strategic Plan. Over the last four years, the agenda that he came with has been unfolding. Mayor McAlpine seeks to Provide essential infrastructure, public safety, recreation, and an environment welcoming growth by way of transparency, accountability, and fiscally responsible governance,” Forkland’s mission statement. To that end, several projects are in the works right now. There are two major roads that are being upgraded and the Town is awaiting notice on the application of another. The Mayor and Council have acquired a center for the youth. The renovation phase is complete and we are developing strategy for the safe use of the facility, in the mist of all that’s going on, before we proceed. The Town of Forkland has grown tremendously through the transparency and accounting practices implemented by Mayor McAlpine and the Council. The Town’s Fire Department structure is out dated, the Town has established a Municipal Court, and re-activated the Police Department, so we are in need of a place to house those departments. Seeking assistance for that undertaking, we have submitted yet another package to USDA. There are so many other things that are on Mayor McAlpine’s agenda, but we are going to see these to fruition first before any further major undertakings.