FAIRHOPE — Two grants totaling more than $1.7 million could help Fairhope prevent future sewage spills and improve drainage across the area, city officials said.The Fairhope City Council voted …
FAIRHOPE — Two grants totaling more than $1.7 million could help Fairhope prevent future sewage spills and improve drainage across the area, city officials said.
The Fairhope City Council voted Monday, April 25, to apply for grants under the federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourism Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act, known as RESTORE, program.
The first grant for almost $1.1 million would help the city provide emergency power to sewage system lift stations during power failures, Mayor Sherry Sullivan said. She said the city has already applied for funding for additional generators.
"This is one of two grants that we currently would have in," Sullivan said at the council meeting. "One with hazard mitigation with 10 lift stations and then this one with 22. We're trying to get in some of those key lift stations."
She said the generators would be placed in the areas where the backup is most needed.
The generators would be available if the power failed during storms when demand often increases on the lift stations due to heavy rains, according to the city resolution.
The 22 lift stations were built between 1973 and 2019, according to city reports. The most expensive generator in the project is a 125 kilowatt, 40-horsepower system to be installed at the Grand Hotel at a cost of $98,825. The least expensive is a 25-kilowatt, five-horsepower system to be installed on Sandy Hook Road at a cost of $19,765.
Under the grant guidelines, the city would pay 25% of the total cost, $278,834, while the grant would provide the remaining $820,100.
The council also voted to apply for a RESTORE Act grant of $650,000 to conduct a stormwater infrastructure inventory. The inventory would be a digital study of existing stormwater systems draining into Mobile Bay. The program would also include a repetitive flood loss assessment of property damaged or destroyed by floods in the past and an update of the city's stormwater management plan, according to Fairhope reports.
The inventory would include studies of drainage areas in the city including Stack Gully in the Fruit and Nut District, Big Mouth Gully in central Fairhope, Volanta in north Fairhope, Tatumville Gully in south Fairhope, Fly Creek in Montrose, Rock Creek in north Montrose, Cowpen Creek in east Fairhope, Point Clear Creek in Point Clear, Waterhole Branch near the city airport and Pensacola Worm Branch in northeast Fairhope.
Council President Jimmy Conyers said the work is needed to improve stormwater management in Fairhope.
"This would be substantial," he said.
The city would pay $162,500 as its 25% share of the grant, while the grant would provide $487,500, according to the council resolution.
The RESTORE program uses money from civil and administrative penalties charged as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to provide funds for environmental projects in Gulf Coast states affected by the spill.