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County applies for $350,000 road grant

The Marengo County Commission approved a resolution to apply for up to $350,000 in funds to resurface five roads in the county on Tuesday.

The grant is funded through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and requires at least a 10 percent match, but the county can add any additional funds necessary to complete the resurfacing. Each road on the accepted application will be receive $4,000 in funding per resident living on the road.

Frank Dobson, Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission Assistant Executive Director & Development Director, compiled a list of five roads with resurfacing cost estimates and funding eligibility for the commission.

Bunny Creek Road would cost $150,000 and is eligible for $176,000, Red Oak Road would cost $80,000 and is eligible for $104,000, Barneys Upper Road would cost $100,000 and is eligible for $120,000 and Winter Drive would cost $175,000 and is eligible for $180,000, and CR 44 would cost over $300,000 to resurface and is eligible for $156,000 making it the only road that would be over budget. All roads except CR 44 are in District 5.

While Commissioners Terry Hinton and Freddie Armstead showed great interest in putting CR 44 on the application, Commissioner Michael Thompson was concerned that the low number of residents would hurt the overall application and cause it to be declined.

“I don’t mind doing [CR] 44, but we need to find some different ways to do it,” Thompson said.

Armstead preferred including CR 44 on the application so county residents outside of District 5 could benefit from the grant, but Thompson was unsure if it would be accepted by ADECA, which would cause the entire application to be denied.

Dobson said that the more Marengo County residents that benefit from the resurfaced roads, the more likely the application is to be accepted, though there is still no guarantee no matter which roads are on the application. He also said that CR 44 still has a chance to be funded, but it is not as likely as the others on the list.

“It does. It’s going to be a longer shot because of numbers,” he said.

Commissioner Jason Windham suggested applying for all five roads and providing the funding that the $350,000 grant does not cover, which would equal approximately $455,000, and the commission decided to go that route following executive session.

(More information from the meeting will be included in the July 10 edition.)

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, July 3 issue of the Demopolis Times.)