Blount scores Rebuild Alabama grant

The Blount County Commission was notified on Jan.15 by Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) director John Cooper that it has been awarded a $250,000 competitive grant from the Rebuild Alabama Act $10 Million Annual Grant Program. The money will be used to resurface five road locations for a total of 10.2 miles in District 2.

The roads chosen will provide two through-route connections from County Road 26. One route will connect County Road 26 and U.S. 278; the other will connect County Road 26 and Ala 79.

The roads included are Williams Settlement Road, Royal-Liberty Road, and portions of Nolan Loop Road, County Road 30, and County Road 38.

Sixty-two of Alabama’s 67 counties submitted applications for grant funding. Only five were selected to receive grants, with the majority of funding going to cities and towns, prompting Cooper to write, “Blount County should be commended for submitting a successful application from such a competitive field.”

District 2 Commissioner Mike Painter said paving work on the Rebuild Alabama project will begin early to mid-summer along with paving on a major Community Development Block Grant project, and that both will be completed this year. The two grant projects total about 20 miles, or $600,000 worth of paving, with none of the funding coming from the District 2 2019-2020 fiscal year budget.

County engineer Dustin Stewart, who submitted the grant application, commented: “This money will be used to resurface farm-to-market roads in District 2 that haven’t been resurfaced in a number of years. We were very fortunate to be one of only five counties in the state to receive this grant. In addition, our application was one of only 18 projects out of 231 applications from counties and cities that were awarded the full grant amount. A special thanks to Gov. Ivey and the Blount County legislative delegation, specifically Rep. Randall Shedd, for helping us rebuild Blount County.”