City gets $500K to repair sewer line

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 20, 2003

A portion of Selma’s sewer system is slated for repairs thanks to a $500,000 grant from Gov. Bob Riley.

The grant will allow Selma to repair almost 1.5 miles of sewer line and will affect 86 homes, a school and a number of businesses in the East Selma area. The city is providing $50,000 in matching funds toward the repairs.

Portions of the sewer line have deteriorated since its installation 80 to 100 years ago and when it breaks silt can seep in and raw sewage leak out.

According to Elizabeth Driggers, Selma community development director, the grant will change that.

Driggers said the city has been working on critical corrections to the sewer system for years. &uot;This is just another phase of these corrections,&uot; Driggers said.

Selma’s Public Works Department acts as the city’s eyes and ears when it comes to locating sewer problems since many flaws aren’t visible above ground.

It will be engineers, though, that repair the sewer line come spring 2004.

Before construction can begin, Selma must meet certain requirements. An implementation schedule, detailed budget and request for a release of funds must all be forwarded to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Engineers will then submit proposals, plans and finally bids before construction occurs. Driggers said the preparation for construction would take as long as the work itself. &uot;It’s not just, ‘Here’s your money, go to work,’&uot; she added.

The project’s completion is expected in 18 months, barring any severe problems.

The grant’s awarding occurred in conjunction with Alabama’s annual competitive grant program, which assists communities with basic infrastructure needs. Selma was one of 13 cities granted money under the large city category.