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Troy gears up for major project

The city of Troy is not dragging its feet in hopes of securing funds that will make major infrastructure repairs.

In its meeting Tuesday, the Troy City Council voted to act immediately to approve an application that will secure a revolving loan fund.

The loan, which will total $2.5 million, will contribute to a $9.5 million sewer system project, said Council President Johnny Witherington.

The loan, however, will have about $950,000 forgiven by federal stimulus money.

The project will span several streets in Troy, including George Wallace Drive, Park Street and Franklin Drive. Witherington said there will also be more included in the final plans.

“We’ve got sewer lines that are some 60 years old,” Witherington said.

Prior to their meeting, council members met with Bob Carter, of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, and Utility Director James Flowers to discuss the project’s details.

In hopes of having construction plans by Jan. 5, Carter said the council needed to pass the loan approval Tuesday, to ensure Troy’s name gets in the hat.

Witherington said the project funding is sought from several different grants, which he said he feels fairly confident will come through.

“The city of Troy is extremely fortunate to be in a position to seek these funds, and one reason why is CGI keeps opening doors for us,” Witherington said.

In the project, the city will improve sewer lines, and during that process, also resurface all roads.

But, there is a catch.

The city will have to have agreement from several property owners to temporarily cut into their property lines.

City Attorney Dickey Calhoun said there are about 80 parcels of property the city will have to get the OK from.

“We’re asking for about 30 feet, and we will put everybody’s land back in the shape we found it or better than we found it,” Flowers said.

If the city is unable to get agreement from all owners, it will still be able to condemn the property to still accomplish the task.

Since the project is timely, Carter told council members to be prepared to act quickly on notification and potential property condemnations.

“There’s a total of 80 properties involved where easements have to be considered,” Witherington said. “Some we already have. There are some parts we have to widen to have more room, and we will need property owners’ permission.”

In other business, the council recognized winners of the city’s annual Red Ribbon Essay Contest. Jeffrey Jordan, of Charles Henderson Middle School, was the overall winner of the “I believe in me, I’m drug free” themed contest.

Runners up were India Gandy, of CHMS, and Kristen Finlayson, of Pike Liberal Arts School.

Judges were Irene Walker, Shanari Fayson and Sherry Helms.

The city also approved the abatement of weeds at the Horizon Center on U.S. Highway 231.

The city will cover the expense for now, but Witherington said it will eventually be reimbursed by the owners or new owners.