County gets $5 million for roads

Published 5:38 pm Friday, July 26, 2013

When the state awarded its first two rounds of ATRIP funding for road and bridge improvements, the awards were accompanied by a detailed list of projects that qualified for funds.
In the third and final round, each county simply received a lump sum — for Escambia County, that is $5 million. But without a specific list of projects, the county will now have to figure out how best to divvy up the money, county officials said.
Only the county and the City of Brewton applied for funding in the third round.
“They’re going to let the county decide,” county commission Chairman David Stokes said.
Stokes said the county received 42 percent of what the city and county jointly sought in this round of funding. “It’s disappointing,” he said.
But Stokes said that city and county officials will look at how to distribute the money.
“Brewton has always worked well with the county,” he said. “We can take the money we’ve been allocated and split it in a way that both will be satisfied.”
ATRIP is funded by GARVEE bonds, which state officials said allow Alabama to access future federal funds for needed road and bridge projects.
“ATRIP is making a difference in every county across the state by allowing much-needed road and bridge improvement projects to move forward,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a release.  “As we make these improvements, we’re improving public safety, and we’re also helping attract more jobs.  When companies look for places to build and expand and hire more people, they look for places that have good roads and bridges.  Our roads and bridges will be much safer thanks to this program, and our communities will be in a better position to recruit more jobs.”
The funds announced Wednesday bring Escambia County’s total ATRIP award to $11.9 million.