Funds to aid in J.L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard facelift

Published 7:33 pm Friday, July 3, 2009

A $500,000 project to construct curbs and gutters on J.L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard is among several projects announced by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for stimulus money.

ADECA plans to submit the Selma project and others totaling nearly $7 million through Community Development Block Grants subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Doni Ingram, director of ADECA, announced Selma’s project last week at a town hall meeting held by Congressman Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, to talk about stimulus money in the Black Belt.

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The American Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus act, saw $1 billion poured into Alabama, extended health insurance for laid-off workers and provided tax cuts for more than 97 percent of Alabama’s residents.

The most recent projects awarded were chosen through a competitive process that gave priority to areas with increased unemployment, Ingram said.

“If approved by HUD, the grants will help retain jobs and give a needed boost to communities that have been impacted by the recession.”

Selma Mayor George Evans said he welcomes the stimulus money, which was applied for months before the Selma City Council voted to change the name of the street from Jeff Davis Avenue to J.L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard.

In January, the city council voted to change the street’s name to honor Chestnut, who died in September. Chestnut, Selma’s first black attorney, defended prominent figures in the civil rights movement, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Evans said, “I am glad that this is happening. It’s a whole lot of money.”

Other proposed projects:

$391,103, Winfield in Marion County, public water service improvements for 143 residents by installing larger supply lines and six fire hydrants; repair and pave Ember Drive

$500,000, Mosses, Lowndes County, improve sewer services for 129 residents and bring town into compliance with environmental regulations by upgrading a sewage lagoon and waste water treatment equipment

$500,000, Collinsville, DeKalb County, improve sewer services for about 1,400 residents and comply with environmental regulations by replacing or repairing lines, repairing manholes and upgrading other sewer equipment

$500,000, Camden, Wilcox County, improve sewer services for about 2,200 residents by upgrading sewer collection and disinfection equipment

$141,000, Kennedy, Fayette County, to rehabilitate two water storage tanks, benefiting about 417 residents and keeping the town compliant with environmental regulations.

$500,000, Ashville, Clay County, to improve sewer services for about 2,200 residents by upgrading sewer lines and repairing manholes

$270,223, Florala, Covington County, to resurface and construct curbs and gutters for West Fifth Avenue and Juniper Street, benefiting 64 residents

$264,316, Lineville, Clay County, to improve public water service for about 1,200 residents by renovating a water tank and repairing its foundation

$500,000, Haleyville, Winston County, for neighborhood improvements that include street resurfacing and installation of water lines and fire hydrants, benefitting about 139 residents

$475,000, Lanett in Chambers County for upgrading the sewer system, benefiting about 599 residents

$462,190, Bibb County, resurfacing 2.75 miles of County Road 83, benefiting about 122 residents

$500,000, Bay Minette, Baldwin County, to improve sewer services for about 6,800 residents by replacing the Railroad and Dobson pump stations and upgrading equipment for energy efficiency

$500,000, Livingston, Sumter County, extend sewer services to the new Sumter County High School

$438,874, Elba, Coffee County, construct new water well to benefit about 3,800 residents

$360,000, Guin, Marion County, extend sewer services to about 45 residents in the Woodland Heights subdivision, eliminating health risks from faulty septic tanks.