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City to seek water grant for Sunset Road

The Demopolis City Council on Thursday voted to pursue a grant to help provide water lines Sunset Road on the eastern side of town.

The council was faced with the choice of pursuing the Delta Regional Authority grant for Lem Wilson Road or for Sunset Road, both roads that were annexed at the same time.

Council members first agreed 5-0 to pursue a DRA grant for water lines for one street and pursue another grant next year for water lines for the other street. After a discussion, the council voted 4-1 to pursue the grant to provide water lines to Sunset Road, with District 3 representative Melvin Yelverton voting against.

The council then voted 4-1 to provide a 10-percent match for the grant if it were approved, with Yelverton voting against. It then voted 5-0 to pursue a similar grant for Lem Wilson Road for next year, then voted 4-1 to adopt a resolution outlining those votes for Goodwin, Mills and Cawood, with Yelverton voting against.

Only 22 counties are eligible for the Delta Regional Authority grant, and the deadline to apply is March 15. The $175,000 grant will be awarded on June 1. The city’s matching funds would be applied after Oct. 1, in the next fiscal year’s budget. Frank Dobson of Goodwin, Mills and Cawood told concerned citizens from both streets that the first project would be completed in time to apply for a grant for the second road.

Council members discussed a decision it made in 2004 to pave Sunset Road, but the decision was not committed on, according to District 5 representative Jack Cooley, because of financial reasons.

“I think that the fact that a commitment was made by a previous administration that Sunset Road would be paved and that (city attorney Richard) Manley had done a study and gotten information from the property owners that he needed to do a financial assessment of what it would cost,” said District 2 representative Mitchell Congress. “We went out there and looked at it, and I think that puts us in a better position in the application process to go with Sunset Road.”

“Lem Wilson has not asked for paving,” Yelverton said. “They were both annexed at the same time. All they have asked for is water. I don’t see where they should be pushed back because they’re not asking for paving.”