Project could mean more jobs

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, April 4, 2009

After working for more than a year to secure funding for a resurfacing project that will enable more jobs in Pike County, the Pike County Commission finally received the word it had been waiting on.

Earlier in the week, the governor’s office announced it would provide a $180,000 grant to Pike County to go toward a resurfacing project that would repave a portion of the Henderson Highway leading to the Troy Industrial Park.

“The commission has been working since November of 2007 to secure the necessary funding for the rehabilitation of a portion of the Henderson Highway leading to the Industrial Park,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders. “This is a heavily trafficked area that supports many local industries and connects the Industrial Park to U.S. Highway 231.”

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One reason for the resurfacing project comes from a decision made by KW Plastics to expand in this area.

“The need for this rehabilitation grew with the expansion of KW Plastics in this area,” Sanders said. “It is our understanding that KW actually considered making this expansion outside Pike County, possibly in another state. However, the local owners of the company instead determined to give their neighbors the benefit of this growth and moved forward with plans to expand here.

According to Sanders, several million dollars have been spent in the county on the local facility and many jobs have been and will continue to be created, which will generate 100s of 1,000s in payroll for Pike County’s people annually.

“The impact of these expenditures will multiply themselves throughout Pike and surrounding counties, making a tremendous increase in this regions’ economy,” Sanders said.

The county was given the opportunity to provide a project that would help with industry growth, but it’s no secret the county is facing hard financial times.

“As has been well-documented, funds for roads and bridges have been in short supply for some time and funding for this project was no different,” Sanders said. “However, with help from Rep. Alan Boothe and Sen. Wendell Mitchell, the commission requested and received aid in the funding through the Alabama Industrial Access Road and Bridge Cooperation and the Alabama Department of Transportation. The last part of the funding necessary to complete this project was recently pledged by Gov. Riley through the awarding of the Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.”

Sanders said being able to obtain the funds came from efforts from agencies throughout Pike County.

“Obtaining the funding for this project required the combined efforts of agencies of the city, county and state government, our partners in the private sector, as well as the Pike County Economic Development Corporation and the South Central Alabama Development Corporation,” Sanders said. “The Pike County Commission would like to express our sincere appreciation to all those that worked together on the team to achieve this goal and looks forward to building upon this success to reach other worthy goals.”