County to get stimulus funds for utility relocation

The Shelby County Commission passed a resolution Feb. 8 to use $265,000 in stimulus money for a highway project.

The money will be used to relocate water and sewer lines when a half-mile of Shelby County 17 in Alabaster is widened and resurfaced from Shelby County 270 to Lacey’s Grove Parkway.

County Engineer Randy Cole did not specify when the project would begin.

The total cost for the project will be approximately $329,000, with approximately $316,000 coming out of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and other federal funds.

Also during the meeting, the Commission, in conjunction with Alabama Power, presented a portrait of the Tuskegee Airmen to Alabaster resident Barbara Ford, whose husband, Harry Ford Jr., was one of the original Airmen. Harry Ford Jr. died in Feb. 26, 2009.

Commissioner Dan Acker said he felt the time was right to give Barbara Ford the painting.

“The timing is very good, because it’s Black History Month, and (the Airmen) are a part of history,” he said.

Barbara Ford said her husband was particularly proud of being a Tuskegee Airman.

“My husband was a Tuskegee Airman for 33 years,” she said. “When I asked if he had any regrets, he said, ‘That I’m too old to serve now.'”

In other business, the Commission also:

-Passed a resolution to kick off Shelby County’s Big Read, a countywide program focused on encouraging all citizens to read more.

-Passed a resolution declaring April 17 and October 9 the two 2010 free days at the Shelby County Landfill. On these two days, residents, churches and civic groups in Shelby County can dispose of waste at the landfill for no charge.

-Approved a resolution to levy ad valorem taxes and alcohol license fees.