Watershed Authority helps fund county road project

Published 8:38 pm Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority provided $16,909.53 to assist with the repair of a badly eroded ditch on Pike County Road 4405 in the Banks area of Pike County.

Senator Wendell Mitchell presented the funds to Pike County Commission Chairman Jimmy Barron and Commissioner Ray Goodson Wednesday.

Barron expressed appreciation to Mitchell for his continued support of the Pike County community.

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“Sen. Mitchell has always been willing to listen to our needs and then do what he can to supply them,” Barron said. “We really want to thank him for assisting us with the project. There was a great need and, once again, he was there ready and willing to help.”

Russell Oliver, county engineer, said that the ditch on County Road 4405 was badly eroded and affected the safety of the roadway and the bridge culvert.

“The erosion problem contributed silt and other pollutants to a tributary of Richland Creek, resulting in decreased water quality,” Oliver said. “The vertical backslopes were reworked to a manageable angle and the eroded ditches were filled to a safe elevation. Rip rap flumes, as well as rip rap inlet and other outlet protection, were installed, which will improve water quality by minimizing sediment being deposited downstream and will result in safety for the traveling public by raising the height of the roadside ditches.”

Mitchell expressed appreciation to Barbara Gibson, executive director of the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Authority, for the stability and leadership that she provides to the authority.

“I am always proud to have the opportunity to work with the Pike County Commission and those at the Watershed Management Authority,” Mitchell said. “They are dedicated individuals and have the interest of Pike County and its people at heart. When we work together, we can accomplish much.”

Gibson said the support the commission and watershed authority has received over the years from Mitchell has been invaluable.

William “Bill” Stone, a member of the board of directors, also expressed appreciation to Mitchell for his continuing support of the Watershed Management Authority.

“Sen. Mitchell’s support has been longstanding,” Stone said. “Without his support in the Alabama Legislature, we would not be able to do the things that we do.

The Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority is a state agency created in 1991 by the Alabama Legislature.

It is responsible for managing the 2.3 million acres in the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow River water basin in southeast Alabama in the areas of water quality, water quantity, flood control and prevention and water conservation education.