Brantley receives $1.3M in grants
Big changes are coming to the small town of Brantley, according to mayor Bernie Sullivan, thanks to a slate of recent grants.
Alabama governor Kay Ivey recently presented Sullivan a community development block grant totaling $350,000. Sullivan said that the grant would be used to update, repair and maintain the town’s outdated sewage system.
“Some of those things are 70 years old, and we’ve had problems with them for ages,” Sullivan said. “Thank goodness the governor and Kenneth Boswell, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) director saw fit to give us a grant for $350,000.”
In addition to the community development block grant, Sullivan said that the town received an additional $250,000 grant for additional work on Brantley’s water system, which lies beneath Highway 331.
Sullivan detailed a plan to relocate the water system, which has serviced stores located along the downtown stretch of businesses along 331.
“That money will allow us to put water and sewage behind all of our business areas, and add five new fire hydrants,” Sullivan added.
The renovations don’t end there, however. Sullivan said that a third grant totaling approximately $500,000 is set to allow for the renovation of Brantley’s front streets and sidewalks, and it includes the addition of new LED lamps that will dot the town’s downtown region.
Additionally, the walking trail surrounding Brantley’s municipal building will also receive an overhaul and the same LED lamps as the town’s downtown region to allow for safer conditions at night.
Sullivan said much of the funding was made possible by the relocation of a Brantley native’s business back home.
“The reason we were able to get this grant is because Four Byrds, LLC has seen fit to locate in Brantley and to renovate the western side of town and employ some 65 new employees,” Sullivan said.
Sally Byrd, president of Four Byrds, is no stranger to Brantley, according to Sullivan.
“She is a hometown girl,” Sullivan said. “She went to school in Brantley, married, moved away and came back.
“They’ve built a home on the north side of Brantley and now they’re putting their money where their mouth is. That’s one of those stories you don’t hear often,” he added with a laugh.
Sullivan promises more exciting developments for Brantley in the next 18 months. In addition to efforts to get the area National Guard armory back, Sullivan teased ongoing negotiations with a pair of businesses that have shown interest in bringing their businesses to town.
“This is my fifth term, and it’s like all of our prayers are being answered in this small-town community,” Sullivan said.
“It’s almost beyond a part-time mayor’s wants.”