York gets $3 million

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 25, 2005

Large novelty checks given at presentations and ceremonies always demand attention. However, it was the numbers on the check given to the City of York that made many do a double take Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions and Steve Pelham, State Director of USDA Rural Development, met York Mayor Carolyn Mitchell Gosa and members of the York City Council at the University of West Alabama for a Town Hall Meeting and surprised everyone with the presentation of a check for $3,620,000.

The check was a combination of a grant for $950,000 and a $2,670,000 loan from the USDA Rural Development Board to upgrade and improve their existing water system.

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Gosa was overcome with joy as the check was presented. She said this was a banner day for her city.

“We count this as one of the greatest days in the history of our city,” said Gosa. “As public officials, we made a promise to our constituents that we would provide quality, safe drinking water and to be able to fulfill this promise through a grant/loan from USDA is a dream come true.”

Gosa said the awarding of the grant and loan was more than good fortune, it was divine. She said the work that will come with the money would be a life altering experience for those in the affected areas.

“We humbly thank God for answering our prayers, because thousands of people will directly and indirectly benefit from this remarkable mission,” Gosa said. “Our citizens have patiently suffered through our water woes and we are just elated to say that clean, safe and quality drinking water is on the way.”

Gosa added they were thankful to have had everyone on their side that made the grant possible.

“We will forever be grateful to the USDA Rural Development for awarding this grant/loan to the city of York,” Gosa said. “Moreover, we graciously thank Charles and Linda Munoz and Lucius and Mildred Black for donating the land for our water wells. We also thank Goodwyn Mills and Caywood and our city attorney Nat Watkins for their support and guidance with this project. Truly, this is a great day for the city of York.”

Sessions, who was in traveling through Sumter County Wednesday to meet with local officials, said this was the beginning of great things for York. Sessions said there would be many additions that will drastically change the safety and service involved in York’s water system.

“This 3.6 million project will allow York to carry out a major upgrade of its water system,” Sessions said. “It will add three wells, a pumping station and provide for replacing existing lines. I congratulate York’s leaders for their work to ensure a high quality water system for many years to come.”

Pelham said the presentation was all part of the people of York getting a chance to upgrade their system and honor the local leaders who made it happen.

“I was pleased to join Senator Sessions for this announcement and I appreciate his support of USDA Rural Development’s programs and his commitment to improving the quality of life in Alabama,” Pelham said. “Today’s presentation is an opportunity to recognize local leadership and our partnership with the city of York and their efforts to provide safe, quality drinking water for their citizens.”