County to help fund portion of Calera waterline extension project

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022

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COLUMBIANA – Shelby County will contribute $5 million of its federal COVID-19 relief funding to a waterline extension project in Calera.

At its June 27 meeting, the Shelby County Commission voted in favor of an agreement with Calera’s water board to utilize $5,075,000 of the county’s funding from the Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act for a roughly 29,000-foot waterline extension.

“Going back several months, as we started looking at the ARPA funds, we looked at the $42 million that we have coming in, and we’ve been talking to different communities about how we improve water infrastructure in our county,” County Manager Chad Scroggins said. “That has an effect on economic development or recruitment of businesses going forward.”

Scroggins said projects like the waterline extension are significant because they can create jobs, improve infrastructure and contribute to long-term growth in the county.

Previously, the county dedicated $9.4 million in ARPA funds to a waterline replacement and extension project along County Road 280 in Chelsea and $8 million to an emergency communication capacity and cover upgrade to benefit all 808 square miles of the county.

In total, Shelby County will invest more than $42 million in infrastructure improvements with ARPA funds.

Scroggins said two more proposals will be brought before the Commission soon.

“We believe that this is a good project,” Scroggins said of Calera’s water infrastructure expansion, noting it requires “no funds out of the County Commission’s general fund or water services funds. “It’s strictly using ARPA funds to make our county better.”