City receives grant for water and sewage

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 11, 2003

Greenville’s Water Works and Sewer Board recently received a grant for $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

Funds from the 70/30 grant are earmarked for the construction of water and sewage lines for the HwaShin and Hysco plants.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development David Sampson presented the check to Mayor Dexter McLendon at a ceremony in the Alabama Department of Commerce (DOC) building in Montgomery on Thursday.

Sampson said his department awarded 850 grants this year, totaling $315 million. The DOC’s Economic Development Administration awards the grants after communities apply for them.

The grants are processed through the Atlanta DOC office, and are competitively scored against all other grants submitted from other southeastern states and communities.

&uot;What we look for in scoring the grants is how realistic is it that these communities can take these economic infrastructures to the market place and attract industries and jobs,&uot; Sampson said. &uot;The basic anchor now is Hyundai and we look for communities that may not be performing as well as others, and look at how we can help them attract suppliers.&uot;

He said the primary requirement for qualification is that the community be a low-income and/or high unemployment rated area.

&uot;Through these grants, these communities are able to put in basic utility infrastructure, and they don’t have to raise taxes or utility rates to put in these systems,&uot; Sampson said.

McLendon labeled the event &uot;a red-letter&uot; day for Greenville.

&uot;It will allow us to do things in our community that we need to do,&uot; McLendon said. &uot;It’s what I’ve been saying for the past few years – we’ve got to have these jobs, and we have to have these things in place to get those jobs.&uot;

The mayor said this grant was requested several months ago, when it became obvious that improvements would need to be made to the water and sewage lines to accommodate the Hysco and Hwashin plants.

&uot;There are no supply lines out to the properties,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve already got engineers working on the plans, and the project should be completed in a bout a year.&uot;