Gov. Ivey announces grant to upgrade Fort Payne water lines

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a $1 million grant to help Fort Payne improve a public service and eliminate a potential health hazard in the city’s downtown.

Funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable the Water Works Board of the City of Fort Payne to replace old and undersized water lines primarily along Gault Avenue (U.S. Highway 111). The 80-year-old metal lines have frequent leaks, and customers also often experience low water pressure, city officials said.

“This project will improve water service for more than 50 businesses, 20 residences and a public housing development in the downtown area and upgrade the overall quality of life in the city,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to announce this grant which will benefit so many in Fort Payne.”

The project will extend along Gault Avenue from Fourth Street South to 14th Street South with some work also being done on adjoining streets. The work will involve more than 8,000 feet of line of various sizes and include the installation of six additional fire hydrants to improve fire-fighting capabilities.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant. The water works board has pledged $545,445 in local funding for the project.

“For more than 50 years, the Appalachian Regional Commission has been a valuable partner in helping cities and counties in north and central Alabama accomplish projects to improve their communities and overall quality of life,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “Gov. Ivey and I both appreciate the dedication of Fort Payne leaders in being persistent to see this project through, and we are pleased that assistance from the ARC will help make this project a reality.”

Gov. Ivey notified Brandon Light, executive director of the Water Works Board of the City of Fort Payne, 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 DeKalb 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.


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