Road grant obtained for Industrial Park

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RED BAY | If at first you don’t succeed . . . . 

Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher wasn’t able to secure assistance with road work earlier this year as part of a Community Development Block Grant for improvements on 9th Street SW. The work was needed to assist with roadway construction at the planned new site of Southeast Sales in the West Franklin County Industrial Park. While she was able to secure, with the help of Rep. Jamie Kiel and Sen. Larry Stutts, funding to cover sewer work, the road work presented another pressing problem. 

Not anymore.

Fancher was delighted during the most recent Red Bay City Council meeting to announce a commitment from the Alabama Department of Transportation to provide nearly $600,000 in funding for street improvements. These are non-matching funds.

“The City applied for CDBG funds to assist Southeast Sales,” Fancher said, “but we had to go back to the drawing board because CDBG doesn’t include roads and asphalt. So, the City applied to ALDOT for assistance, and at last week’s meeting they agreed to commit $596,200 for improvements and street widening there.”

Fancher said this was a huge relief and will help spur development in the park as well as widen the street in that area to be able to handle the additional traffic expected there. The street widening will also be a benefit to Girard Systems and Red Bay Acres as well.

The announcement came at the end of a relatively brief City Council meeting. 

Among the items discussed and approved was a policy allowing all Red Bay Police Department officers to drive a police vehicle home.

Fancher told the Council a fuel-cost analysis had been performed to determine whether the move would have a detrimental impact on the city’s budget, and it did not show that it would dramatically affect the department’s budget. 

The anticipated policy is expected to state, among other things, that officers can only drive the vehicle from their job with the Police Department to their home and no one other than the officer can be in the vehicle when it is driven home and back. Patrol cars will not be allowed to be used for any other purpose, either.

“I believe this will be a good incentive for attracting officers,” Fancher said.

The Council also approved paying $1,112.30, or half the cost of a marker to be placed at Red Bay High School honoring the late Frankie Smith. The Franklin County Community Development Commission will fund the other half. Fancher said the marker will recognize the work Smith did in efforts to teach students about veterans affairs, and credited Janet Kennedy with the idea to honor Smith in this way.

In other action, the Council:

Announced that Faye Butler’s supernumerary position on the Senior Citizen Board is posted, and asked anyone interested interested in being considered for the post to sign up at City Hall.

Accepted the resignation of Street Department dmployee, Wade Inmon, effective June 11, 2021.

Agreed to reappoint Alan Bostick and Troy James  to one-year terms on the Alabama Railroad Board. The one-year terms’ new expiration date is July 7, 2022.

Mayor Fancher announced the City of Red Bay will be closed Monday, July 5th to observe Independence Day. Monday’s garbage route will run Tuesday, July 6th.

The next regular scheduled Red Bay City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.