EB gets sewage grants

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 11, 2012

With some paving already completed in East Brewton, city officials there are anxious to continue improvements around town with the help of grant funding.
East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark said grants have made it possible for the city to plan much needed work that wouldn’t have been possible without that funding.
“We are just like everybody else when it comes to finances,” Clark said. “We have to pinch every penny just to keep day-to-day operations going. The grants we applied for and were awarded will allow us to move forward on some repairs and improvements around the city that really need to be done.”
One of the projects to begin in the coming weeks, will be the continuation of repairs to damages caused by the December 2009 flooding
“It’s been a long time in coming, but we are glad to be able to move forward with getting that repair work done,” Clark said. “We’ve had to wait on that funding just like a lot of other government agencies. I’m just glad it came through and we can get on with the job.”
The grant Clark referred to was one valued around $850,000 and will help pay for work done on a drainage ditch and rehab work on sewer lines in the flood zone in the city.
Steve Dunaway, street and sanitation supervisor for the city, said the rehab work will be the next project to move on.
“We’ve completed the work on the drainage ditch located behind Superfoods,” Dunaway said. “We can now move on to work on the sewer lines in the flood zone. It’s work that you can’t see, but it’s work we are happy to be able to do.”
Dunaway said the rehab work should begin sometime in the next week. A timeline for completion of the work is unknown.
Another grant awarded to East Brewton has allowed for the upgrade and rehab work on the city’s sewer treatment plant and the main lift station.
“That work is just about complete,” Clark said. “We are hoping the job will be finished in the next week or so. These upgrades will help us with our sewer treatment and will give us better capabilities of handling that service for our residents.”
The residents of East Brewton are always at the top of the priority list, Clark said. Other projects already completed using grant funds have been a benefit to the residents throughout the city.
“We have been able to do some much needed paving over the past few months with some grant funding we were able to get,” Clark said. “We were able to work on about 12 streets throughout the city and were happy to get that work going, too.”
Clark said the city works constantly on trying to secure funds through available grants to improve and maintain city services.
Dunaway said the sewer grant is one the city had to apply for a number of times before being able to secure that award.
“We actually applied for that grant for three years before we were able to get the funds,” Dunaway said. “That’s usually the case in a lot of grant applications. You have a lot of work to do before you can apply and the application process is lengthy as well.
“Once you make application, you have to get put in line. If funding runs out before your name comes up, you get denied. But, we keep on applying for grants we need until we get them.”
In many cases, the city has to have available funding as a “match” for grants, Dunaway said.
“We have to have money in the bank to have those matching funds available,” Dunaway said. “That’s why we have to make sure we only apply for grants that we can actually afford.”
Clark said the city would continue to seek grants for improvements with the help of DMD Engineering of Andalusia, the firm in place to aid the city with a variety of work including grant searches.

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