Jasper gets $500k grant
by James Phillips
Jun 17, 2012 | 1880 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey shows Rep. Bill Roberts a piece of property in the Bevill Industrial Park that is expected to be developed soon. Photo by: James Phillips
Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey shows Rep. Bill Roberts a piece of property in the Bevill Industrial Park that is expected to be developed soon. Photo by: James Phillips
slideshow
City officials received welcomed news last week when Jasper was awarded more than $500,000 to resurface and widen a road within the Bevill Industrial Park.

Mayor Sonny Posey said officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation announced the approval of the funds Wednesday at a meeting in Montgomery. Jasper received a total grant of $565,000, which is earmarked to a project on Industrial Way in Jasper.

Posey said the project will basically rebuild the road and will benefit two major upcoming expansions at the industrial park.

“This road will benefit two industries here which are expanding significantly,” Posey said. “We still can’t release details about those expansions, but they will be a tremendous benefit to our city and will provide many new jobs. This road project will help make those expansions possible.”

The grant is provided from the ALDOT’s Industrial Access, Road and Bridge Fund. The funds are intended to provide adequate public access to new or expanding distribution, manufacturing and industrial firms.

According to the Industrial Access Board of Directors website, the industry must be committed to new investment and the creation of new jobs, and the new access must be on a public right of way for public use.

Posey said the Jasper project met all the state’s criteria and received 100 percent funding.

“We couldn’t ask for better treatment for the state,” Posey said. “Apparently they liked our project, and they liked it a lot.”

While it did not give out the grants, the Alabama Department of Commerce played a big role in the grant process, said David Knight, director of the Walker County Economic and Industrial Development Authority.

“We appreciate all the help we’ve received from those guys,” he said. “They have supported Jasper and Walker County in many ways.”

David O’Mary, chairman of the Jasper Industrial Development Board, said the funding shows Jasper has established credibility with state officials. Jasper received $2.5 million from the state last year to build Charles Bishop Industrial Drive.

“This is the second time in two years that we’ve approached the state, and we’ve been successful both times,” he said.

“We’ve been able to secure more than $3 million in two years, and that is a testament to the work of Mayor Posey and our folks in Montgomery.”

Rep. Bill Roberts (R-Jasper) said communication was a key in securing the funding.

“This is a good example of things happening when we put our heads together and work on something,” he said.

Posey agreed that teamwork has been crucial in getting funding from the state.

“Jasper has benefited because people are working together,” he said. “This was the result of a joint effort to continue to build up industry and bring more jobs to our city.”

There is no current timetable on the Industrial Way project, but Posey said he expects it will forward quickly.

“Now that we have the funding, we can move forward with the process,” he said.