Town approves improvement project for wastewater treatment plant


LOXLEY, Alabama — At its meeting on Monday, Jan. 13, the Loxley Town Council awarded a contract for part of a nearly $9.6 million project to make improvements to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

In March of 2019, the town was awarded a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the amount of $4.825 million and a grant in the amount of $4.723 million for “improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sanitary Sewer Outfall.”

The town council voted in June of 2016 to approve preliminary and environmental improvements to the 12-year-old plant in preparation for a USDA grant/loan program.

Among the improvements include:

• Dredging of the equalization basins to allow for additional capacity.

• Expanding the wastewater plant to account for the additional capacity.

• Increasing the size of outfall lines to increases overflow capacity into nearby Fish River.

• Upgrading of electric motors and pumps to account for the additional capacity.

A USDA loan will then cover whatever amount is not covered by the grant.

According to the terms of the grant agreement, which was approved by the council at its April 2019 meeting, the USDA will pay nearly 50 percent (49.52) of the project costs, a total of $4,723,000, while the town will pay the remainder of the cost, $4,825,000.

At its meeting on Jan. 13, the council awarded the contract for the screw pump replacement in the amount of $230,0131 to the Creel Company Inc., to be paid for with an interim construction loan until USDA reimbursement funds become available.

The Jan. 13 meeting combined the council’s regular monthly meeting with its regular monthly work session, which was postponed from Dec. 30 because of the New Year’s holiday.

Among items discussed in the work session were:

•Consideration of a donation to the Robertsdale High School softball program. In the regular meeting, the council agreed to postpone action until its Feb. 10 meeting.

•Stapleton resident Walter P. “Buster” Ward asked for the town’s help in getting the city of Foley to vacate property used by the L&N Railroad that the city of Foley now owns. Town attorney Shawn Alves agreed to look at precedent information provided by Ward.

•Residents asked council members to consider allowing parking in the town right of way for emergency vehicles assisting with their son, who is handicapped.

•Council member Katherine Breeden said members were needed for the Downtown Redevelopment Board. Three members, Janice Christopherson, Joey Knight and Joan Richardson were appointed during the regular meeting.

•Received a proposal for mold treatment and repair for the Municipal Court building from International Termite/Pest Control. The proposal, costing $1,800, was approved during the regular meeting.

•Asked to consider raises for the mayor and council salaries for the next term, which begins in November. By law, salaries have to be set six months prior to municipal elections in August. The last raise in salaries for the mayor and council was voted on in February of 2008. Salaries for the next mayor and council must be approved by the end of February.

•Discussed the estimated contribution billing for the Municipal Workers Compensation Fund. Premiums in the amount of $43,422 were approved during the council’s regular meeting.

•Discussed the availability of 5307 Transit Funds, which would allow the town to use the Municipal Park as a transit hub for the county’s public transportation system. Further information and discussion will be provided at the council’s next work session Jan. 27.

•Discussed complaints on noise and parking lot issues at the new Piggly Wiggly.

•Discussed culvert repairs on County Road 49 North.

•Alves addressed a proposed ordinance on wrecker rotation and use.

After voting to close its work session and open the regular meeting, the council also:

•Viewed a presentation from Darlene Comstock on the Making Memories Hunt, held annually at the Old Brady Hunting Club in Loxley. The town agreed to sponsor the event held in December of 2019.

•Adopted a proclamation declaring January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in the town.

•Approved the Loxley Volunteer Fire Department election results for 2020, presented by Raymond A. “Tony” Lovell, who was reappointed as chief for 2020.

•Approved the purchase of equipment for the utilities department in the amount of $10,368.

•Approved the replacement of equipment for the police department in the amount of $3,500.