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City sewers to get upgrades

Hogg said that the overall project will involve replacing 7,530 feet of sewer lines and related appurtenances and will benefit a total of 86 households with 214 residents. All but one of the residents are in the low- or moderate-income categories, he said.

The cost of the three projects will be around $500,000, the amount of an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant received last fall, according to Perkins. The funding comes through the Community Development Block Grants program, Perkins said.

That seems like a lot of money to fix the dilapidated sewer lines in the area of Cook Apartments near the intersection of Annie Cooper and Lavender streets; another project on Lauderdale Street between L.L. Anderson and Minter Avenue; and a third near the intersection of Short Hall and Maxie streets.

The four men were touring the sites as the engineering phase is nearing its end. The project will soon be put out to bid, Hogg said, and construction is expected to begin in early April. Completion is expected in about six months.

The site observed had exposed sewer pipes that were either horizontal or sloping slightly uphill toward the main sewer line in the street. The pipes coming from the nearby apartments had breaks at some joints, allowing raw sewage to

spill out on the ground near a small viaduct carrying runoff water.

It was not a pretty site and definitely a public health hazard according to those present.

Hogg explained the importance of gravity in a properly constructed link from house or apartment to the street &045; which means pipes must slope downward in order for the system to function properly.

The plan, he said, is to dig up the adjacent streets which cover the current city sewer lines and lower those lines to an level appropriate for the lines coming from the apartment complex.

That will mean torn-up streets and inconvenience for a time, but necessary in order to rehabilitate the system.

The visible sewer lines will be buried and everything will be as it should be.

Perkins said the situation has existed for some time and that at the time he took office he pledged to do something about it.

The main thing was the money, he said, and was pleased about the ADECA grant.