Montevallo leaders hope to get grant for Dailey Park improvements

Published 3:59 pm Friday, April 12, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / For the Reporter

MONTEVALLO — The Montevallo City Council held a special meeting April 10 in conjunction with the Finance Committee to amend an application for a state grant to make improvements to the Dailey Park neighborhood.

The grant is a Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and would allocate funds to restore the Dailey Park neighborhood. It would provide $450,000 from the state to improve sidewalks, repave roads, update sewer lines and alleviate drainage issues, along with tearing down condemned houses in the area, provided the city matches $100,000.

The amendment called for the removal of a reference to an area of Samford Street directly in front of Montevallo Middle School, which was determined to belong to the Shelby County School Board, and not the city. The meeting was called in order to ensure the amendment would pass in enough time for the grant to be awarded.

“If we don’t pass this amendment tonight, there’s a real likelihood that we will lose the money, and you won’t get the improvements in your neighborhood,” Cost said to those in attendance. “We’ve already had an extension, and if we don’t make this amendment we’ll lose the grant.”

Residents in attendance expressed their concern over the amendment, with several wondering about how improvements to the road might affect the access points to the neighborhood, as well as ownership of the road.

“Why wasn’t ownership brought up when the school board was (at a Feb. 18 meeting)?” asked Franklin Bell, a resident. “It was on the agenda, but it wasn’t brought up about who actually owned Samford Street.”

The improvements provided by the grant are completely separate from proposed plans from the Shelby County Board of Education, which originally called for a forced eviction of some residences before school board officials said they were not considering such an eviction.

Cost stressed to those in attendance that the City was on the side of the residents as far as the school board’s plans were concerned.

“We will continue to represent the citizens on that,” she said.

The council voted unanimously to pass the amendment. Councilman Don Hughes was absent.

In addition to the amendment being passed, Cost also introduced a $6.5 million Comprehensive Capital Improvement Project Plan that would utilize funds to upgrade several of the city’s facilities, as well as introduce other projects to improve the town.

The fund would allocate $1.2 million for the refinancing of the existing loan for the Promenade as well as the Montevallo on Main building, $2 million for the repaving of an estimated 30 miles of roads, $1 million for a motel project, $520,000 to acquire the old Victory Building to refurbish it as an arts incubator, $469,600 for renovations to City Hall and $100, 000 to update the police station, as well as funding for upgrades to the Boys and Girls Club, street signs and a trail extension.

Cost said the proposal was designed to help Montevallo progress.

“We can move forward in ways Montevallo has never moved forward before,” she said.

The Montevallo Cooperative Development District will discuss the proposal April 12.