The city has been approved for a $791,000 loan and a $2,098,000 grant to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant and replace aging sewer lines. The Cordova Water and Gas Board will receive a $269,000 loan and a $106,328 grant to replace its existing water meters, which are read manually, with radio-read meters.
The official announcement was made on Thursday during a press conference at City Hall that was attended by representatives from the city and USDA Rural Development as well as local legislators and residents.
“This is a tremendous boost for Cordova,” Mayor Jack Scott said of the funding, which is being provided through the USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program.
Scott added that the money will be useful in both helping the city recover from the April 27 tornadoes as well as in its seven-year battle with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management over discharging pollutants from the wastewater treatment plant into state waters.
Jack Drummond, chairman of the Cordova Water and Gas Board, said the new water meters will allow the board to be more efficient in conducting business.
“It’s going to enable us to reduce our water loss and it’s going to enable us also to use our labor better because we can work on other things,” Drummond said.
USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $2 billion in Alabama since 2009, according to a press release. Examples of projects that have qualified for funding include essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems and housing opportunities.
“Rural Development’s support for infrastructure projects like these in Cordova helps the environment, improves the lives of rural residents and ensures that rural communities have modern, up-to-date facilities and equipment,” program administrator John Padalino said in a prepared statement.