Bachus secures funding for sewer

The city of Alabaster received good news on several fronts during last Monday night’s regular City Council meeting.

Council President Rick Walters announced that the cities of Alabaster and Calera will receive $225,000 each in federal dollars for sewer and wastewater treatment improvements, thanks to U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus.

According to Bachus’ legislative director Shayne Gill, the funds were secured by Bachus through the Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

He said the cities must turn in their receipts for work on water and sewer improvements to be reimbursed up to $225,000

Gill said the bill was expected to be signed by President George W. Bush. Council president Walters expressed his thanks to the congressman.

Mayor David Frings reported that Visual Enhancement Grant work has begun on U.S. Highway 31 and Interstate 65 and should be completed in May.

He also reported that CSX has repaired the railroad crossing on County Road 44, but the city is still seeking repairs from the railroad for the crossing on Ball Park Road at Buck Creek Park.

The mayor noted that Arbor Day will be celebrated in Alabaster at 9 a.m. Saturday. He thanked Alabama Power Company for a donation of $240 for the purchase of additional trees.

Frings encouraged the council to approve an application for a Quality of Life Enhancement Grant from the city’s library board to the county for a maximum of $5,000 for computers.

He said the funds are a dollar-for-dollar grant from the county, but there is already more than $5,000 available for computers in the library board’s budget.

Frings stressed that the computers and printers purchased will be for public use.

The mayor also recommended that the council purchase a boom truck for the public works department to be financed over two years, so the city can have the funds to purchase a bucket truck.

He also recommended that the council purchase trucks for city departments and police cars.

It was also discussed that by financing the boom truck, the city can stay within its budget.

In actions taken, the council:

Approved the purchase of a boom truck for the Public Works Department with the payments to be worked out by the Finance Committee. The only bid received by the city was $98,820 from Alabama Truck Body and Equipment LLC.

Approved the application to the county commission for a $5,000 matching grant for the purchase of computers.

Approved the bid process for two F-150 4×4 pickup trucks, one F-250 4×4 pickup truck extended cab diesel and seven police cars. Councilmember Adam Moseley requested a list of additional costs not included in the bid.

Approved a maintenance agreement with the state Department of Transportation in which the city will control the mowing of grass along sections of U.S. Highway 31.

Approved streetlight requests for Butler Road and Grande View and Kensington Lane.

Set a council work session for Feb. 26 at 7 p.m