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Vina, Red Bay receive grants for community development

Two Franklin County communities are about to see improvements in infrastructure after receiving grants from the Alabama Community Development Block Grants.

Vina will receive $348,650 to install a new boost pump at a water storage tank to improve water flow and pressure, and Red Bay will receive $445,000 to improve sewer lines in the southeast part of the city.

“This is actually the third time we have applied for this grant, so I guess third time’s the charm,” said Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher. “We are very excited about this.”

Fancher said after receiving the grant, the next step for the city is going through the bid process to determine who will work on the project.

Fancher said although there is still some work to be done before construction can begin, she estimates the project starting in the spring.

The grant money in Red Bay will go toward improving sewer lines on Fourth Street, Fifth Street SE, Sixth Street NE, Seventh Street, Eighth Street, Fourth Avenue SE, Fifth Avenue NE, Seventh Avenue SE, Tenth Avenue SE and Stadium Street.

“The area we are going to be working is right over by the school, so this grant actually couldn’t have come at a better time since we are in the process of getting the new building at the school,” Fancher said.

Fancher said the sewer lines that will be replaced are around 50 years old and have been backing up into residential properties.

“When I say this is a very important sewer issue, that’s what it is,” Fancher emphasized.

Vina Mayor Michael Moomaw said the grant to help with water pressure in Vina will also be beneficial to many people in town. The new boost pump will increase water pressure on the west end of town, where Moomaw said customers there are averaging around 20psi.

“I don’t know who determined that 20psi was enough, but I disagree,” Moomaw said. “You don’t have any water pressure, so if you have someone taking a shower, and someone else decides to start a load of clothes, suddenly you either don’t have any water going to the shower, or the washer uses all of the cold water, so the person in the shower gets burnt.”

With a new booster tank installed on the west side of town, other pressure stations will have to be installed throughout the town to help regulate the increase in pressure.

Moomaw said the booster station will be installed on the tank side of Highway 19, and the city is determining where it will place the additional three or four pressure stations to help regulate pressure throughout the town.

He said in addition to helping families have the water pressure to better keep their houses, the increased water pressure will also help firefighters have easier access to water.

Another benefit will be adding water pressure to industrial park, which Moomaw said will help recruit businesses.

“Sometimes we have had a business come look at industrial park, but it didn’t work with them because we didn’t have the water pressure,” Moomaw said. “Hopefully this will help draw in more business.”

Moomaw said he is hoping to see work begin on the new pump in early summer.