MONTGOMERY— The City of Brent will make additional sewer system repairs thanks to a $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant announced by Gov. Robert Bentley.
The ARC funding will enable Brent to extend a project funded by a Community Development Block Grant in October 2016 to replace 4,500 feet of sewer line. With the ARC grant, the city also will evaluate 7,000 feet of sewer line, remove roots from 5,000 feet of sewer line, make 10 point repairs and rehabilitate 15 manholes. The project area is in the central part of the city, from U.S. Highway 82 South to Heritage Park Drive.
“Appalachian Regional Commission grants do so much to help Alabama, including helping small cities like Brent address critical issues that their budget cannot alone support,” Bentley said. “I, along with town leaders in Brent, are so appreciative to have these funds available to meet urgent needs that impact so many people.”
City leaders said the old, clay pipes in the sewer system have become brittle and are cracking, causing overflows that create a potential health hazard.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama. Thirty-seven counties in Alabama are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds, which could be cut under current federal budget proposals.
"ARC programs through the years have positively impacted so many Alabama communities and regions in the ways of infrastructure improvements, education and economic opportunities,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. "I am proud of ADECA’s partnership with ARC and the improvements that program is making in Brent and has made in numerous Alabama communities during the last 50 years.”
ARC’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. During a period of October 2015 to January 2017 ARC has funded 64 projects in Alabama totaling $11.2 million and resulted in 900 jobs and trained or educated 14,000 students or workers for new or advancement jobs.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resource management and recreation development.
Bentley notified Mayor Dennis Stripling that the grant had been approved.