Commission seeks funds for road work

Published 12:15 am Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Several Pecoshin community residents came before the Pike County Commission in hopes of finding something the commission’s road department lacks — funding.

But, with the chance to seek state money for a Community Block Development Grant program, the commission may have a chance to resurface the resident’s County Road 5521.

“Yall spend a lot of money out there, coming in to fix washes,” said County Road 5521 resident David Hussey. “We really need to get the road fixed. We are paying a lot of money for car repairs and several people have had wrecks out there.”

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Greg Avant, another of the street’s residents, followed Hussey’s request.

“A big concern I have is for emergency vehicles,” Avant said. “I wonder how much time’s lost to get to the emergency, and in that situation a few minutes could mean life or death.”

The group said they understood the hardships the commission faces in funding, but they are hopeful the state program will be able to do something about it.

Last year, the commission applied for a CDBG grant, funded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, that would have paved County Road 5521 and rehabilitated County Roads 2259, 3341 (St. John’s Church Road) and 2270 (Center Ridge Road). This year, they will submit the same application once again that if funded would mean $400,000 would come to Pike County for these projects.

County Engineer Russell Oliver said he’s unsure what the chances are for Pike County’s approval, but he’s confident the project is one worthy of awarding.

“It’s a very good grant. It covers a lot of territory,” Oliver said.

Barbara Barnhill, grant writer for Roth, McHugh and Associates, said the program typically sees about 150 applications, spanning large cities, small cities, very small cities and counties. She said she’s unsure exactly how many will be awarded, but there is only $28 million in the fund for disbursement.

Barnhill said that $28 million is less than the program had to give last year, but she’s not certain how much less.

The commission approved to move forward with the application, which is due Aug. 2, and the issue will have to come before the board again for further approval. Barnhill said she expects the commission will know by mid-October whether these funds will be awarded.

In other business, the commission approved to seek bids for supplies and materials in the road department, something done annually. It also awarded a retail beer license to Stop-n-Go on Highway 130.