CGI benefits starting to show?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Call it the gift that keeps on giving.

At least that’s what Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said could happen if all works out as planned.

After CGI’s announcement to make Troy it’s new home last month, Lunsford said the city will seek grants that, if awarded, will make tremendous improvements to the city’s infrastructure.

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The Troy City Council approved the application of both a grant to improve the city’s water system and another to renovate South Brundidge Street in its meeting Tuesday night.

“Based on the jobs we are getting, we started looking at different areas we can apply for projects in the city of Troy,” Lunsford said.

The first, sought from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, could fund $1,040,000 to connect every water line in Troy.

This way, if one goes out, there will be enough to keep water flowing throughout the entire city.

What will be the best part about the grant, Lunsford said, is the city will get some needed road repairs as part of the package.

In order to connect a water tank on Barron Road and Park Street, Lunsford said the area from Park Street to Elm Street and from there to George Wallace Drive will have to be resurfaced.

“The beauty of it is when the water goes in, it’s in the streets,” Lunsford said. “The streets will have to be resurfaced, so we’ll get two things out of the grant.”

If awarded, the city will have to match $260,000 of its money.

The next grant, sought from the Alabama Industrial Road and Bridge Fund Authority, could renovate South Brundidge Street from the intersection of U.S. Highway 231 to Elm Street.

The $2.2 million project, if awarded, will upgrade the sidewalks and resurface the entire road.

But, from near Pinkard Vault and Marble to University Avenue, the road will be expanded to three lanes, pending right of way from the city of Troy.

Lunsford said the city is seeking 100 percent funding, but in order to secure right of way privileges on some of the street’s properties, the city may have to make some payments.

Lunsford would not say which properties the city would need to make the expansion possible, pending negotiations with landowners.

“We’ll be looking at what it takes to acquire right of way,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford will meet with members of the state board Nov. 10, where he hopes to learn more about the funding possibilities.

CGI’s presence has been potentially giving to Troy, but that giving isn’t unreciprocated.

The Troy City Council also approved to issue a short-term line of credit and a long-term bond issue to benefit the company in renovating the Park Lane shopping center.

The total bonds will be $5.5 million, and $1 million will be paid by the city of Troy as part of its incentive package.

The other $4.5 million will be paid by Troy University, who in turn will lease the area to CGI to make up for the funding.The reason the city will issue the bonds in its name is to secure the lowest interest rates it can.

The council also approved an incentive package for the company that in addition to $1 million will fund $800,000.