Capitol Report for February

By Sen. Roger Bedford

It was certainly a pleasure to be able to announce this week that the city of Fayette has received a very well deserved grant in the amount of $250,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs. I was glad to support this grant as it will help create and keep new jobs in Fayette. We must all continue to work together as a team to keep the jobs that we currently have and do what is necessary to attract new, good paying jobs to our area.

While on the subject of grants, it was certainly a pleasure to be in Red Bay and Russellville on Friday to present Franklin County TVA in-lieu of tax service grants. These grants are applicable to all of Franklin County and it is a pleasure for me, working with Johnny Mack Morrow, to have presented over $750,000 worth of grants in Franklin County alone.

We recently awarded Red Bay High School’s baseball program $600, Red Bay High School’s softball program $1,000, Vina High School’s softball program $500, Red Bay High School’s weight room project $2,000, Pleasant Site Fire Protection Authority $512.50, Phil Campbell Elementary $500 for a teacher workshop on behavioral disorders, Belgreen High School $500, East Franklin Jr. High $500, Red Bay High School $500, Tharptown High School $1,000, Vina High School $500, Belgreen High School’s softball program $1,000 and Russellville West Elementary $2,400 for the purchase of iPads to be used in classrooms.

I am also happy to announce the following grants awarded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs:

• The city of Fayette has been awarded $250,000 to be used to renovate a vacant apparel manufacturing facility to be used as a business incubator. This project will benefit 50 people of whom 51 percent are of low and moderate income. The city of Fayette has committed a $50,000 match to the project.

• Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama, Inc. was awarded $59,293 to provide Department of Energy funds to local Community Action Agencies to weatherize the homes of low-income and elderly residents of the State of Alabama. The counties served by this grant are Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin.

• The Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. were awarded $127,718 to provide Department of Energy funds to local Community Action Agencies to weatherize the homes of low-income and elderly residents in Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties.

• The city of Sheffield has been awarded $100,000 to construct the River Heritage Trail extension from existing river walk to CCC historic bridge in Whipporwill Hollow. This trail will be multi-use for bicyclists and pedestrians, and will be ADA accessible.

• The Winston County Commission was awarded $9,168 to provide tactical equipment for deputies during high risk search warrants and to protect against situations in the county jail.

I recently had a wonderful time at the Annual Hackleburg Civitan Pancake breakfast and I look forward to attending the Frog Pond VFD Pancake Breakfast in Franklin County as well as the Winfield High School’s fundraiser Pancake Breakfast on Feb. 22.

I’m pleased to report to you that my bill to make it illegal for animal rights groups and others to intentionally and willfully use drones to disrupt legal hunting and fishing in Alabama has passed the Alabama Senate and is now in the House of Representatives. This is a growing trend among animal rights activist in the Mid-West and Northern states that I do not want to see occur here in Alabama. This bill will hopefully stop that type of annoying and intentional harassment. It will not interfere with the business use of drones to legitimately show real estate, inspect power lines or other legal uses. As a life-long hunter and fisherman, I do not want to see this type of disruptive behavior come into Alabama.

I hope the last blast of winter came through this past month and I’m looking forward to a warm and bright spring and I hope you are too.

Please continue to contact me with your cards, letters, calls and e-mails.  I consider it an honor to work for you.