During a work session of the Anniston City Council that preceded its regular meeting Tuesday night, Ed Turner, general manager of the Anniston Water Works and Sewer board, discussed using American Rescue Plan funds to replace old sewer and water lines on a stretch of West 14th Street.
Turner said the section of West 14th where improvements are required runs from Crawford Avenue to Moore Avenue.
The project, Turner said, “eliminates a lot of two-inch galvanized mains which leak. If you drive along 14th Street you will see numerous patches in the road.”
Turner said the project would pull out the aging two-inch lines and replace them with six-inch galvanized lines.
Turner said the entire project is estimated to cost $1.5 million — down from an initial estimate of $3 million, now that the county has agreed to be a partner in the project and handle the paving work — along with the water department supplying labor and equipment for the project.
Turner said the affected section of West 14th, about a mile, would be repaved once the lines are replaced. The proposed project should take about two months for completion.
“I think the project in general really benefits a lot of needs of the city, one with the two-inch galvanized being eliminated, taking care of antiquated sewer, a lot of old clay sewer pipes in there and repaving that entire street,” said Turner.
Anniston Mayor Jack Draper was in favor of the proposal.
“I do hope that this is something we will seriously consider. These issues have plagued us for a while. It's improving water and sewer infrastructure but it’s also repaving 14th which is significant in my mind,” the mayor said.
During the regular meeting the council unanimously appointed Gretchen Richards to the Anniston Main Street Board. Richards, from Anniston, said she is looking forward to serving on the Main Street board.
“I would just like to thank you for the honor to be considered,” she said.
Councilwoman Millie Harris told Richards that she is very well qualified to serve on the Main Street Board.
In other business the council voted unanimously on a fiscal 2022 budget amendment proposed by Councilman Jay Jenkins. There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget changes at the next council meeting, Sept. 21.
Draper said the city’s fiscal 2022 budget can be passed at the next meeting but a special called meeting might be needed prior to that time to address budgetary items.
The meeting wound down on a somber note as the council turned to the COVID-19 pandemic. Councilman Demetric “DD” Roberts urged everyone to please be safe.
“We are at a critical point, our hospitals are overloaded with people,” said Roberts.
Roberts said a relative of his fell ill and went to the hospital on Sunday and was diagnosed with COVID and strep throat.
“He didn’t wake up this morning, it’s real,” said Roberts.
Councilwoman Ciara Smith urged everyone to get vaccinated.
“If you know that you can, please do, there are so many people suffering,” Smith said.
Councilwoman Millie Harris invited the public to attend two public comprehensive planning meetings. The meetings will be Sept. 9 and 13 at the Anniston City Meeting Center and each will begin at 5 p.m. in the main hall.
For more information please contact the City Information Officer, Jackson Hodges, at 256-846-2044.