County awarded #036;400,000

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 31, 2004

Citizens of Butler County residing on Blue Round Road, Hall Road and Montezuma Road will soon have the relief they had hoped for.

Thursday, Gov. Bob Riley awarded $400,000 to the Butler County Commission to pave three hazardous dirt roads in different sections of the county.

Citizens living in these areas had hoped for quite some time repairs could be made.

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However, the solution to the problems would not come cheap.

By getting the grant from the state, the commission can eliminate the problems associated with dirt roads by paving these three. The roads had been subject to heavy traffic, but with the repairs made possible by the grant they will soon be able to shoulder the load.

According to county officials, paving the heavily traveled dirt roads is a critical need because of public safety concerns.

Blue Round Road, Hall Road and Montezuma Road will be the target of the funds. An estimated 180 people or more call the three roads home. Because of all the traffic the roads have fallen into poor condition and represent the most urgent road improvement need in the county.

These roads become very dangerous during heavy rains and do not provide reliable transportation routes for its residents, school buses and emergency vehicles.

Riley said all Alabama residents deserved safe roads and praised Butler County for looking out for its people.

&uot;Safe and dependable roads are vital to the well being of Alabama families,&uot; said Riley. &uot;I commend the effort of Butler County officials to develop safe and reliable transportation routes for their residents.&uot;

Butler County maintains more than 600 miles of roads. Forty one percent are unpaved or in need of repair.

According to the commission, paving and resurfacing roads will not only make traveling safer, but will also help with erosion of drainage problems.

The grant was made from funds made available to the state through the Community Development Block Grant program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Riley has designated the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to administer the grant.

ADECA Director John Harrison notified Commission Chairman Jesse McWilliams the grant had been approved. The county has committed $296,555 in matching funds.

McWilliams said county officials would now move to the next step on the grant.

&uot;They’ll send us a letter in a couple of weeks,&uot; said McWilliams.