City seeking additional disaster funding
by Jennifer Cohron
Apr 14, 2013 | 1898 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CORDOVA —The City of Cordova will be seeking its fair share of more than $49 million that Alabama is receiving to help communities affected by the spring 2011 severe weather outbreak.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced last month that U.S. Housing and Urban Development has allocated an additional $120 million in disaster recovery funding.

More than half will go directly to the cities of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham as well as Jefferson County.

The rest — $49,157,000 — will be distributed by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in the form of Community Development Block Grants.

In December, $1.4 million of a $15.7 million allocation from HUD was awarded to Cordova to rebuild a grocery store.

The neighboring communities of Hackleburg and Phil Campbell received $4.8 million and $2.5 million, respectively.

Mayor Drew Gilbert told members of the city’s Long Term Recovery Committee last week that Cordova wants a larger piece of the current funding pie.

“Last time, we asked for exactly what we needed and when we go to the bid award, they were getting a lot more than us. We’re going to be a little greedier this time,” Gilbert said.

The CDBG grants will help with housing, business and infrastructure needs that have not been met through other forms of private or public assistance.

Gilbert told LTRC that the city will likely be pursuing assistance with a new City Hall, fire department and police station.

Construction of a library and realigning Main Street are also possibilities for projects.

Gilbert said he expects Cordova to have an advantage over some other communities in upcoming discussions with ADECA because plans exist for most of the projects officials will be bringing to the table.

The Cordova City Council approved an 80-page Long Term Community Recovery Plan more than a year ago.

The city has also received extensive assistance from Auburn University and some professional design firms on a range of conceptual drawings.

“We’re not starting from scratch. We’ve got all of this to put in front of them, and we can show the results in two years,” Gilbert said.