Washington D.C. trip could raise $13 million

Published 5:24 am Monday, March 14, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Mayor Howard Shell is taking a trip to Washington D.C. this week and he hopes to return with $13 million worth of federal funding as a souvenir.
"We're still seeking funding for several projects we have going on," Shell said. "We have four different projects we're working on. The first is wastewater infrastructure improvements in association with Masland Carpets; the second is water and wastewater improvements in both industrial parks, the one at I- 65 and the other on Hwy. 31; the third is a continuation of our Pine Barren Watershed project to correct a lot of our flooding conditions around town and the fourth project is for the Atmore Municipal Airport that we're continuing to seek funds for."
Shell is looking to raise $3 million for the Masland project.
"That money will be used on improving the city's wastewater facilities to be able to include a lot of the wastewater that Masland is now treating," he said.
Mayor Shell is also hoping to bring back $6.5 million for the three-phase industrial park project.
"Those moneys are for the construction of water and sewer service for the parks," he said
As for the watershed project, Shell is hoping for $3.33 million worth of funding.
"That money is for completing a study we are doing on trying to alleviate the flooding in town," Shell said. "We still have a number of residential areas that flood in heavy rains and we're trying to alleviate that."
Shell is also planning to come home with another $1.6 million in additional funds to complete storm-damage repairs on the airport.
"That money will go to continued improvements at the airport, repairing storm damage improving runway lights and trying to meet state and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requirements," he said.
The mayor's initial purpose in going to Washington is for a meeting of city leaders being held there, but Shell is leaving early to talk with state representatives.
"It's a League of Municipalities annual meeting that occurs once a year," Shell said. "I try to take advantage of that by speaking to Congressman Bonner, Sen. Shelby and Sen. Sessions on Friday. While there Saturday, I'll be attending meetings for a committee I've been appointed to on community and economic development."
The mayor just saw these meetings as a chance to kill two birds with one stone.
"I think we'll get part of (the money)," Shell said. "We just have to work on it and see. I feel very confident that our congressional delegates will work with us any way they can to try to accomplish these projects."

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