Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a $200,000 grant to help the town of Berry improve a public utility service and eliminate a potential health hazard.
The town will use the funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission to replace damaged and dilapidated sewer lines in the downtown district.
Town officials said sewage backups occur routinely in the town’s business district, nearby houses and at Berry Elementary School.
“Residents and business owners should expect to have properly operating utility services,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend local officials who recognized the problem, sought a solution and found one with this grant.”
Town leaders say that the 60-year-old sewer system has been plagued with problems for years and resulted in warnings from a state environmental agency to remedy the problem. Upon completion of the project, the town will have totally renovated its entire sewer collection system.
The project, which involves replacing 9,574 feet of sewer line, will directly benefit 75 households and 11 businesses, but all sewer system and wastewater customers will benefit from the improvements.
The town was awarded a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant from Gov. Ivey for the project in late 2022.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers both the ARC and CDBG programs in Alabama.
“Combining grants from both programs when possible just makes sense and reduces a burden on the town to have to provide funds for a larger share of the project,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey and the ARC as a partner in this program that will improve quality of life for residents and business owners in Berry.”
Gov. Ivey notified Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison that the grant had been approved.
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Fayette County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.
ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.
Jim Plott or Mike Presley
ADECA Communications and External Affairs