Gov. Ivey announces grant to aid Hamilton water upgrades

MONTGOMERY — Residents of Hamilton will soon have a safeguard to prevent a disruption in public water service like one experienced in 2023 thanks to a $310,000 grant announced by Gov. Kay Ivey.

The collapse of a pond dam at a local farm in August 2023 began a domino effect that didn’t end until farther downstream of a river that flows in the city of Hamilton. The results were not good.

The dam breach sent silt and sediment from the pond into the Buttahatchee River, the city’s main water source, preventing the city’s water treatment plant from purifying the water for public consumption and resulting in it having to temporarily shut down. The water disruption forced the temporary closure of the city’s school system as well as several local businesses and a manufacturing plant.

The Appalachian Regional Commission grant will be used to provide the city with a secondary water supply from another water source.

“When faced with a significant challenge its vital water system, Hamilton and other local and regional leaders worked together to find a workable and long-term solution,” Gov. Ivey said. “Once this project is completed, citizens and businesses of Hamilton will not have to experience being without water as they did nearly a year ago. I am proud of the cooperative spirit the community and the region showed in obtaining a resolution.”

An agreement will enable the Hamilton water system to make a secondary connection to the Guin water system through the Marion County Public Water Authority, ensuring that the system has an adequate backup to supply water to its 3,512 business and residential customers.

ARC funds will be used to provide a water line extension and suitable booster pumps and essentials for emergency water supplies to Hamilton. The waterline extension will follow Marion County Road 42, and the booster pump station on Alabama Highway 171 will require upgrading to meet new demands.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the ARC grant.

“This project is a result of many partnerships and will benefit numerous families and businesses,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “Gov. Ivey and ADECA both appreciate the Appalachian Regional Commission for helping to improve lives in its Alabama region.”

Gov. Ivey notified Hamilton Mayor Robert F. Page that the grant had been approved. The city has pledged $309,813 for the project.

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 Marion 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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