Vina receives $116K grant

Vina residents will soon have safer and cleaner water – that’s the goal of a $115,850 grant announced this week by Gov. Robert Bentley.

Funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable the town to provide exterior and interior renovations to the two water storage tanks that serve residents of the community.

“Every year we do a tank inspections, and over a period of years there will be deterioration or repainting needed,” explained Vina certified utilities operator Michael Moomaw. “We just need a fresh coat of paint on the inside and outside and a little cleaning on the inside.”

Moomaw said the need for repairs was discovered when the town had the tank inspections done in July 2016. When he heard a cost quote to do the work, “I knew we didn’t have the funds for it.”

Town clerk Sue Raper and Mayor D.W. Franklin reached out to NACOLG for assistance in acquiring grant funding in August 2016, and at last the 70/30 grant is going to make the project happen.

“This is another instance when community infrastructure projects would not be possible without assistance,” Bentley said in a press release. “I am thankful for the Appalachian Regional Commission and its commitment to assist Alabama towns like Vina with these necessary and important projects.”

The town relies on the two tanks to supply 425 households with fresh water. The town’s 75,000-gallon elevated tank and a 250,000-gallon tank will be drained and recoated with a paint that will last 20 to 25 years.

“It help with the maintenance of the water tanks,” explained Moomaw – which, he said, is a top priority for the town. “It’s important to us that we’re doing everything can on our end to provide safe drinking water to our customers.”

Raper said the town received word of the grant approval March 28, and the council has already been in discussion about the project, which everyone hopes to begin as soon as possible, following bidding it out.

“We’re excited to get it taken care of,” Raper said.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama. Thirty-seven counties in Alabama, including Franklin County, are part of the ARC region.

“For the past 50 years ARC funds have benefited so many people in Alabama, whether it be infrastructure improvements like this one in Vina or creating new jobs and providing educational opportunities,” said ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr., noting the cuts to ARC that are suggested in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. “I am proud of ADECA’s partnership with ARC and thankful for the many accomplishments that have been made through this cooperative effort involving so many people.”

 

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