Council approves grant application for access road between major distribution centers


LOXLEY, Alabama — The Town of Loxley hopes a grant will pave the way to providing access between two major distribution centers being built in the town’s Industrial Park.

At its meeting Monday, Aug. 9, the Loxley Town Council voted unanimously to apply for funding through the Alabama Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corporation to widen and improve drainage and resurface County Road 49 beginning at the south end and traveling north to the new Aldi Distribution Center.

The town is requesting $1.755 million in funds for the project, which will include a 20 percent match, bringing the total project to just over $1.9 million.

According to information provided in the grant proposal, the purpose of the proposed project is “to support the new Lynx-Dade Paper Distribution facility expansion that is being constructed n Loxley.

Local officials were joined by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, state and county officials in July to break ground for the upcoming 220,000-square-foot building located along County Road 49.

Imperial Dade’s new facility is set to bring more than $20 million in total investment to Baldwin County, with plans to create 55 new jobs. Dade Paper currently has 65 employees.

Phase 2 of the development is currently being marketed, offering a total of 250,000 square feet in two additional buildings capable of accommodating tenants as small as 20,000 square feet.

The proposed improvements are needed to accommodate increased traffic flows from the new Dade Paper facility, as well as the recently constructed Aldi Distribution Center, according to the application.

Ivey joined retail officials, along with representatives from local, county, state and national governments breaking ground in February on the 564,000 square-foot office and warehouse which will support ALDI’s growth throughout the Gulf Coast. The project is set to bring approximately $100 million in capital investment in Baldwin County.

In other business Aug. 9, the council voted to approve additional building code compliance services with Rimkus Building Consultants Inc. for the new Aldi facility.

The items included detailed fire protection plans for the main warehouse building and complete plan sets for three free-standing buildings on the Aldi property, including the construction of a guardhouse building, a pumphouse building and a dispatch building on the property.

The council also approved a change-order form for the improvements with Rimkus Building Consultants.

The proposed changes will increase the original contract price of $185,000 to $234,000, an additional $49,000.

Also on Aug. 9, the council approved proposed spending for distribution of American Rescue Plan Funds.

In May the U.S. Department of Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for eligible state, local, territorial and Tribal governments.

“State local, territorial and Tribal governments have been on the frontlines of responding to the immense public health and economic needs created by this crisis,” according to a release issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury. “As a result, these governments have endured unprecedented strains, forcing many to make untenable choices between laying off educators, firefighters and other frontline workers or failing to provide other services that communities rely on.”

According to the Resolution, municipalities are classified as indirect recipients and funds requested will be distributed from the non-entitlement units, which have been allocated $19.5 billion to assist in Coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery applications.

According to the release, the funds allocated will provide relief to:

  • Support COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control.
  • Replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs.
  • Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses.
  • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to inequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations.

Funds will provide flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs, according to the release, including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. Funds also deliver resources the recipients can invest in building, maintaining or upgrading their water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Local governments should expect to receive 50 percent of the funds in 2021 with the balance delivered 12 months later, according to the release.

As of June 30, the town has received $362,041.55 in funds with plans to receive an equal payment in 2022.

The council approved spending a total of $230,000 of the funds for monitoring and controlling the town’s water and wastewater facilities, including $50,000 on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), $165,000 for meters and $15,000 for a GIS/Mapping system.

Also on Aug. 9, the council:

  • Approved a resolution adopting a transportation plan for the Rebuild Alabama Act, authorizing the distribution of an estimated $15,019 for road improvements, which will be used to pave a section of Fourth Avenue. If any funds are left over, they will be spent to resurface North County Road 49 beginning at the intersection of Flowerwood Road and County Road 49 heading north 1,300 feet.
  • Approved a resolution adopting the 2021 Baldwin County Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • Adopted a resolution declaring a public nuisance on South Walton Street authorizing town building inspector Jake Traweek to get quotes for the town to clean up the property and charge the cost back to the land owner. The council also held a public hearing for property on Grimes Lane, but it was reported that the property had been cleaned up and no action was necessary.
  • Purchased a press box banner ad for Robertsdale High School at a cost of $450.
  • Approved membership dues for the Alabama League of Municipalities, with an additional cost for National League of Cities membership dues for a total cost of $1,596.99.
  • Appointed Joe Driver as the town’s Rosinton representative on Public School Commission for a proposed 3 mil tax to benefit local schools.
  • Purchased property located on South Holley Street behind the Loxley Police Department.
  • Authorized the Loxley Fire Department to purchase a new fire truck at a cost of $545,000, with a down payment of $200,000 with the remaining cost financed over an eight-year period.
  • Loxley Fire Chief Tony Lovell asked the council, as a private citizen, to consider changing the town’s ordinance to allow residents to have more than one garbage can. The proposal will be placed on the council’s Aug. 30 workshop meeting for consideration at its next meeting Sept. 13.
  • Authorized the purchase of a subscription to the Onlooker and Baldwin Times with Gulf Coast Media for the public relations department at a cost of $45.78.
  • Authorized the purchase of a bookcase for the public relations department at a cost of $190.98.
  • Authorized the change from part-time to full-time of an employee for the Civic Center.
  • Authorized the hiring of a full-time employee for the Maintenance Department.
  • Authorized the purchase of Kabuto fungicide and Specticle Flo from GreenPoint Ag at a total cost of $6,266.
  • Authorized the purchase of security cameras for town hall, wastewater treatment plant, public works and museum at a total cost of $33,451.63.
  • Authorized employee training for the Public Works Department from the University of Florida at a cost of $1,620.
  • Authorized the purchase of AMI infrastructure from Empire Pipe & Supply and East Bay Electric LLC to upgrade the metering system for the Public Works Department at a cost of $6,800.
  • Contracted with Bill Patterson Construction Inc. for a new walk at the Civic Center, plus the construction of new raised islands in the existing parking lot at a total cost of $56,674.
  • Approved final payment for sewer relocation at the intersection of U.S. 90 and Alabama 59 at a cost of $6,618.08.
  • Authorized a change order for sewer relocation at the intersection of U.S. 90 and Alabama 59, decreasing the total cost of the project from $98,118 to $88,661.55, and adding 176 days to the contract time.
  • Awarded the bid contract for 2021 asphalt resurfacing projects to Bay Area Construction at a cost of $268,344.