River dredging needs funds

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Word came this week that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee is recommending giving $3 million for dredging of the Alabama-Coosa River Systems.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is a member of the committee and recognizes the need for the dredging to help with industry in the Black Belt counties.

For industries that rely on the river to import and export goods, the navigability of rivers is essential.

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That’s the good news.

But, the measure still has to be approved by the senate.

“If the Alabama-Coosa can achieve full operational status, jobs and industry will follow,” Shelby stated in a press release. “The Alabama-Coosa River runs through an economically depressed area of the state in serious need of industry and good-paying jobs.”

This move will help existing industries, such as New Gas Concepts, currently building a facility on the Alabama River at the former state docks.

Our expectation and hope is that dredging the river will also bring new

industry to our area, as well as to other counties that border the river system.

We hope and expect the measure to receive approval from the full body so this project can move forward and we appreciate Sen. Shelby’s leadership in getting the funds included in the budget, something we also hope will be in the budget every year going forward.