Denied grant would have improved sewer system

Published 8:05 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

Community Development Block Grants from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs are very competitive. However, it was a change in the rating system that kept Brundidge for receiving a water/sewer grant during the recent round of grant applications.

Britt Thomas, Brundidge city manager, said for a community of 2,400, Brundidge has an excellent infrastructure.

“But that doesn’t keep us from continually striving to improve,” Thomas said. “The CDBG application that we submitted was a multi-task project for our water and sewer lines in the southwest part of town and to take down dilapidated houses in the southeast part of Brundidge.

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“If the grant had been approved, we would have done water/sewer line replacement in the Caldwell subdivision to include the housing authority,” Thomas said. “The interior streets in that section have 4-inch water lines. The water service is fine but 6-inch water lines would provide additional fire protection.”

Thomas said the external boundaries in that section of town have 6-inch lines that will supply the necessary water in the event of fire.

“The water will be there but that means the fire department will have to pull a lot of fire hoses,” Thomas said.

Had the city of Brundidge received the CDBG, the 4-inch water lines would have been replaced with 6-inch lines and several dilapidated houses in the southeast section of town would have been taken down at no cost to property owners.

“Now, as far as the water lines, we’ll just have to deal with the present situation,” Thomas said. “And, we’ll work with property owners to bring their houses up to code.”

Thomas said the city will continue to apply for CDBG grants because the city is always looking for ways to make improvements and, at the same time, level its dollars.

“I would say that Brundidge probably has as good or better infrastructure than most towns our size,” Thomas said. “We have been very fortunate that, in the past, we have been funded year after year through the CDBG system because we had match money. But the criteria has been changed to benefit small towns that, in the past, couldn’t be funded because they couldn’t afford the match money. So, these towns are now getting funded.”

Thomas said the citizens of Brundidge will not be denied any services because the CDBG water/sewer grant was not funded.