The city was among 16 municipalities and counties that were awarded more than $30 million for disaster recovery.
The money will be used to rebuild a City Hall and police station and to realign Main Street.
“This is the civic centerpiece in downtown,” Gilbert said. “We will be able to show developers a realigned Main Street and a corner anchored with our facilities. That’s where this becomes so much bigger than the brick and mortar that will be going up.”
Cordova received the third highest allotment of the funding, which is part of a special Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“They understand that we’re not just trying to build buildings. We’re building the heart of a town back. I think that’s why they have us so high on their list,” Gilbert said.
Earlier this year, the city submitted four projects totaling more than $9.2 million to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the agency overseeing the state’s long-term recovery efforts.
Realigning Main Street and construction of a combined City Hall and library were approved. Two projects that did not make the cut were a new police station and a fire department.
City officials then sought permission to drop the library from its plan and substituted the police station instead.
Communities that received awards on Tuesday must complete their projects within two years or risk losing the HUD funding.
Gilbert said he was not concerned about the city’s ability to meet the deadline.
“I think it will be about a six month process to get bids out and choose the firm. Then we’ll have a year and a half to build. We feel really comfortable with that,” Gilbert said.
Last December, Cordova was awarded nearly $1.4 million from HUD to rebuild a grocery store.
Bids for that project were opened Tuesday at City Hall.
Civicon LLC, the Cullman-based firm that oversaw the demolition of downtown, was the apparent low bidder for site preparation. PTI Inc. is in line to receive the contract for construction.
Combined, the bids came in slightly under budget at $1,286,125.
A total of 15 firms submitted bid packages.
“That kind of competition in Cordova lets us know firms are already looking at us. I think we’re going to be able to drive this new project with the same results in a shorter timeframe than we did for the grocery store,” Gilbert said.
In addition to Cordova, the following communities received grants on Tuesday:
•Tuscaloosa County — $7.3 million for sewer improvements and demolition in the Holt community
•Cullman — $5.72 million for sewer improvements
•Hackleburg — $3.4 million for rebuilding town hall and the police department, street improvements, economic development and multi-family housing
•Marion County — $2.63 million for road and water improvements
•Cullman County — $1.29 million for road improvements
•Franklin County — $1.23 million for road improvements
•Winston County — $985,029 for road improvements
•Phil Campbell — $976,104 for street and sewer improvements and demolition
•Blount County — $758,572 for road improvements
•DeKalb County — $672,135 for road improvements
•Birmingham — $625,000 for demolition
•Moulton — $593,480 for street improvements
•Haleyville — $523,876 for street improvements
• Tuscaloosa — $100,000 for bus stop
• Hanceville — $80,000 for sewer improvements.