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State grant to help repave Piedmont streets

Piedmont potholes

Traffic passes on U.S. Hwy. 278 amid potholes in Southern Avenue. Piedmont has been selected to receive a $250,000 grant from the state to resurface several city streets. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

Some streets of Piedmont may soon get smoother, thanks to a state grant awarded to the city.

The city was selected as a recipient of a Rebuild Alabama grant, and, according to Piedmont Mayor Bill Baker, the $246,200 award will be used to repave streets. 

“We definitely have paving needs, and that will certainly help us with some of the needs around the city,” Baker said.

Piedmont is set to receive money from the initial Rebuild Alabama Grant, which uses funds raised by the new statewide gas tax implemented last year, according to a press release announcing the awards. The city is one of 31 municipal recipients of grants totalling $7 million. 

“I was just tickled pink when I heard,” Baker said. “We’re definitely going to put it to good use.”

The grant will see resurfacing work done to at least seven city streets, Baker said.

“When we applied, I asked each City Council member to pick a road in their district that needed it,” Baker said. “We turned in this information along with the measurements.”

Those soon to be resurfaced roads include portions of Southern, Piedmont and South Fifth avenues; Caton, Swan and Mill streets; and Old Ladiga Road. Baker said he did not yet know when work on the streets would begin.

The grant was set up after the passage of the Rebuild Alabama Act last year. The act requires an annual grant be given out by the Alabama Department of Transportation for local road and bridge projects. 

“An investment in our roads and bridges is an investment in the future of Alabama. These $7 million in funds will go a long way in helping communities across the state address various road and bridge projects,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey was quoted as saying in the release. “I am proud to see the continuing positive ramifications from the Rebuild Alabama Act. Soon, every Alabama citizen will feel the benefits from this additional investment in our infrastructure.” 

Baker said the city applied in November for the grant, hoping to get some assistance for what he said has been an area of need for the city. 

“We just can’t do a whole lot, because we just don’t have a lot of spare money,” Baker said.

Baker said the city would likely apply for the grant again in the future to continue filling those needs. Baker doubted the city’s chances to be selected from the 231 applications, and was surprised to hear the news.

“I’ll tell you what, I slept a whole lot better that night knowing we have this for our city and our people,” Baker said.

Contact Staff Writer Daniel Mayes at 256-235-3561 or danielmayesstar@gmail.com. On Twitter @DMayes_Star.

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