New drainage system keeps Ward 8 free-flowing

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The improvements in Ward 8 have not only enhanced the esthetics of the area, but the wardrobe of the Sophia P. Kingston Elementary principal, who will no longer have to wear hip boots on rainy days.

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and Oil and Gas Lease grants help provide a new sewer and drainage system was in front of the school on Selma Avenue. Alabama Avenue, Maxey Street, part of Vine Street, and Mechanic Street were also part of the, $763,000 project, which began in July.

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Kingston principal, Dr. Robert Carter, said the smallest amount of rainfall could yield a small river at the school’s crossing.

Even if parents parked at the curb, children would literally have to be lifted out of their cars across the water.

The drainage systems of homes in the area were also tested for adequate water and sewage flow.

Councilwoman Janie Venter is working on curb appeal and neighborhood pride in her area. The street in front of the school was repaved, raised and beveled for better drainage. The next step in the project will be to restripe the street and to build a short brick wall along the curb in front of the school.

That step will require additional funds, according to Charlotte Griffeth, director of the Office of Planning and Development. The hope is that new funds will be awarded next year when the city will be able to apply for more grants.

A new sidewalk was also laid at the corner of Selma Avenue and Vine Street. Venter said the addition makes for a safer route for the children walking to and from school, as the area was previously a patch of overgrown grass.