Hobson City leaders are hoping the town will get a federal grant that could help replace water and sewer lines that have strained the town’s finances for years.
“What we're doing now is putting a Band Aid on it,” Mayor Alberta McCrory said of the minor repairs that the city can afford.
McCrory said she updated the Town Council on the application for the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant last week. She said USDA representatives had visited Hobson City to inspect the town’s water lines.
Aging water and sewer lines have for years caused frequent leaks and water loss in Hobson City. In 2015, the town lost about 2.5 million gallons of water a month.
Hobson City purchases water from the Anniston Water Works and Sewer Board and charges residents to get revenue for water maintenance. But the excessive water loss has often meant Hobson City ended the month owing Anniston’s water board.
That’s not the case this year, McCrory said, and the town is eating away slowly at the debt it owes Anniston’s board. But Hobson City has still lost about $100,000 to water leaks this year and has spent more than $50,000 on minor repairs. That’s for a town whose last budget totaled $356,000.
The town asked the Alabama Rural Water Association to assess the problems in the town, and McCrory said the group found that the water lines need replacing.
McCrory says the Town Council hopes to combine with the USDA grant with a loan to help pay for replacing its water lines.
Asked about the total cost of the replacement, McCrory said the USDA will estimate that if the town is approved for the grant.