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IDA plans to pursue wastewater project at Exit 200

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Industrial Development Authority is gathering information to apply for American Rescue Plan funding for a wastewater project at Interstate 65, Exit 200.

The IDA and the Chilton County Commission would submit the application to the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Sending out a request for qualifications for consultants or firms that would be needed, if the funding was awarded, was approved by the IDA board in a June 4 meeting.

During a June 8 meeting, Whitney Barlow, executive director of the Industrial Development Board, said the procurement details of the request for qualifications will be put in the newspaper and on the IDA website. The deadline for submission is July 6.

According to the request for qualifications packet, “This proposed project will construct a stand-alone wastewater collection system and treatment facility to treat an estimated 1,000,000 GPD of wastewater from commercial developments at Exit 200 along I-65.”

The project would be contingent on receiving the funding.

A finance update for the IDA, which compared income to expenses for the fiscal year so far, was given to the board during the June 8 meeting.

Expenses were $354,628 for the year. Income was $486,110 for the fiscal year so far.

“We are doing well on our budgeting this year,” Chair Monica Cooper said.

Treasurer Liz Huntley said it was time to begin meeting for developing next fiscal year’s budget.

Huntley and Barlow gave an update on the Workforce Council meeting.

Huntley described the meeting as “encouraging” because it connected local school career coaches with leaders of companies in the county and would help them “to expose the students to the opportunities that are in those industries, so that they can start thinking about those.”

Barlow said the industrial leaders presented “the issues that they were facing. Most of them was generational phasing out, aging workforce, applicants who qualify for positions they need specific training for.”

Potential ideas discussed were a local apprenticeship program, additional training opportunities and tours of local industries, both virtual and in person for community and educational leaders.

“It is off to a really good start,” Barlow said of the Workforce Council.

Also during the June 4 meeting, the IDA approved pursuing an option on an unnamed piece of property. In a separate motion, the board approved a funding agreement with the Chilton County Commission for the potential future purchase of commercial property.