Eutaw City Council approves applications for $872,425 to provide sewer connection to proposed Love’s Truck Stop location at Exit 40

By: John Zippert,
Co-Publisher

At its regular meeting on May 22, 2018, the Eutaw City Council approved resolutions to apply for $872,425 to connect the City’s sewer services on Highway 14 (Mesopotamia Street) to a site near the Exit 40 interchange the Interstate 20/59.
Love’s Truck Stop proposes to build on a 13.9-acre site adjacent to the Interstate at the 40-mile marker exit. The site will have a fueling station, a convenience store, two fast food outlets (Hardees and Godfather’s Pizza), parking for 87 trucks and other related amenities to serve heavily traveled Interstate.
The truck stop is proposed to employ 43 people when operational, at least half of whom will be people who were previously low income. The business will also generate significant sales and gas tax revenues for state and local entities.
The resolutions were presented to the City Council by Ms. Cory Johnson, grant developer with the West Alabama Regional Commission in Tuscaloosa, which is assisting the City of Eutaw with this sewer project.
The Council approved a resolution to seek a grant of $400,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Community Affairs (ADECA). This grant is based on the projection that the new business will create 43 new jobs.
The Council also approved a resolution to seek a grant of $372,425 from Delta Regional Authority to match the CDBG funding. The City of Eutaw will have to provide the remaining $100,000 in matching funds.

The City may be able to borrow these funds and make repayment from projected sales and gas tax revenues generated by the truck stop.
The funds will be used to provide a 1.5 miles sewer line extension from an existing manhole located near the intersection of Hook Avenue and Mesopotamia Street (aka AL Hwy 14) proceeding north to Interstate 20/59
(Exit 40) to serve the new Love’s Travel Stop. The improvements include a combination of force main and gravity sewer line, one road bore and a new lift station.
Mayor Steele advised the City Council that the engineering firm of Godwyn, Mills and Cahill of Montgomery, Alabama, that completed the City’s recent water project, was working on plans and specifications for the sewer system extension. The Mayor estimated 2 to 3 months for the final designs to be available for bidding the project. The truck stop also needs several other permits from the Alabama Department of construction of the truck stop can begin.
The City Council also adopted several other resolutions, which were required as part of the application package to ADECA, these included a Fair Housing Policy, Citizens Participation Plan, Procurement Policy and Limited English Proficiency Plan. These are standard procedures required for any state and Federal grant funding.
At the recommendation of Police Chief, Derrick Coleman, the City Council approved hiring of Kendrick Barnes as a new police officer. Barnes had experience working in Pickens County and was certified as a police officer. Two other potential officers are going through the Police Academy in Tuscaloosa.
The Council agreed to impose a rental fee of $300 to all groups using the Civic Center (formerly the National Guard Armory) whether they were for-profit or non-profit organizations. Mayor Steele said, “Our budget will not allow us to provide the facilities for free. We have to cover the costs of utilities, maintenance and repairs on our buildings.” The resolution was approved by a 5 to 1 vote, with Councilwoman Latasha Johnson as the only dissenter.
In it’s March 8th. Meeting the City Council approved its Municipal Water Pollution Annual Report and agreed to rename a portion of Prairie Avenue south of the railroad tracks to Highway 43 as “ Bo Scarborough Avenue” to honor the University of Alabama football player with family roots in Greene County.

Five bingo intities distribute $367,830 for the month of March

 

Bingo.jpg

Shown above: Union Mayor James Gaines; Kenya Turner representing Forkland, Dr. Marcia  Pugh, Greene County Health System CEO; Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Bingo Clerk, Emma Jackson; Boligee City Councilwoman, Earnestine Wade, Police Chief, Derick Coleman and Brenda Burke representing the County Commission.

On Monday, April 16, 2018, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $ 367,830 in monthly bingo allocations from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of March 2018.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.

Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,075 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,075.
Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

February Disbursement Totaling $374,905

 

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Shown above: Bingo Clerks, Minnie Byrd and Emma Jackson; Dr.  Marcia  Pugh, Greene County CEO; Kenya Turner representing Forkland, Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Geraldine Thompson representing Town of Union, Greene County School Superintendent, Dr. James Carter; Boligee City Councilwoman, Earnestine Wade, Police Chief, Derick Coleman, Paul Byrd representing the County Commission.

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $ 374,905 in monthly bingo allocations from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of February 2018.

Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500 and the Greene County Health System, $7,500.

Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,075 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,075.
Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

Eutaw City Council continues discussion of Housing Authority appointments, water and street improvements

Benison & Chief

Officer Jimmie Benison and Police Chief Derick Coleman

 

At its March 14, 2017 meeting, the Eutaw City Council reaffirmed the appointment of three members: Jackie Allen (resident representative replacing LaTasha Johnson), Bertha Hunter and Mary Wray to the Eutaw Housing Authority.
Mayor Raymond Steele says he is following the statutes of Alabama, which empower the Mayor to name members of the Housing Authority Board of Directors, communicate his selections to the Council and have the notification recorded in the minutes.
Steele says he appointed new members to replace those appointed by former Mayor Hattie Edwards because her appointments were made in the waning days of her term and never recorded in the city council’s minutes. Due to a lack of a quorum, the last council meeting of Edwards’s term, near the end of October 2016 was never held, so her appointments were never officially recorded in the minutes.
The composition of the Eutaw Housing Authority Board is important to the continuing negotiations over merging the Eutaw and County Housing Authority boards and staffs which has been mandated by HUD, which funds both authorities.
Mayor Steele contends that since all of the public housing units are now in the city of Eutaw, that under the law he has sole discretion to appoint members of the merged authority. The Greene County Commission disputes this and wants an amalgamated board with appointments by both the city and the county. The districts of three of the Commissioners, Districts 1, 2 and 3, have constituents within the city of Eutaw.

Other municipalities within Greene County – Forkland, Boligee and Union are also interested in public housing development and desire consideration by the merged housing authority board. Mayor Steele says these towns can contract with the merged board for support and development of units if they have suitable land with the required water and sewer services.
The Eutaw City Council has through its Attorney, Ken Aycock, requested a State Attorney General’s opinion on the laws governing housing authorities and the selection of board members for the merged entity.
The Council also approved a motion suggested by Councilman Joe L. Powell that the Council not incurs any legal costs for defending its member selections to the Eutaw Housing Authority Board until the Attorney General’s opinion is received and permission is granted by the Council to pursue legal actions. This motion was approved over the Mayor’s objections.
Mayor Steele also gave a report on projects underway in the city. He stated that the water project was moving forward with installation of the new lines on Mesopotamia Street; a six inch water line will be extended to the Lock 7 Road; and work on constructing a new tank to replace the one behind City Hall, will begin soon. Soft wear to read new digital self-reporting water meters has been purchased and the installation of these new meters is among the remaining work to be done to complete the USDA sponsored water improvement project.
Steele also said work was done to patch roads in Branch Heights but the full repair and resurfacing of those roads would cost $1.8 million. He said he was working with grant writers to seek funding for this work from ALDOT and the Delta Regional Authority. He also said that the Prairie Avenue Project was almost complete with the exception of striping for parking.
After the Mayor’s report, several Council members advanced road and drainage projects in their districts, which needed immediate attention. The Council approved the payment of bills and claims for the month of February.
Police Chief, Derick Coleman, introduced Jimmie Benison, former Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy as a new police officer on the city police force.