Ranburne commits cash for roadwork
by Laura Camper
news@cleburnenews.com
Jul 15, 2013 | 3316 views |  0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Ranburne City Council on Monday approved committing about $75,000 to match a federal grant for road work in the city.

The city plans to use the money to widen, repave and improve the drainage on Georgia Avenue and some of the roads it connects with including Truett, Pollard, South Cook and Lake streets. The total cost of the work is estimated to be $303,000.

The federal funds come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program.

The city could do a 20 percent match or $51,200, Mayor Owen Lowery told the members during Monday’s meeting. However, at the public hearing about the project, Diane Glenn, a grant writer from East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, said the higher the match, the better the chance the city might get the grant.

It brings the amount granted per resident down, said town clerk Pam Richardson.

Councilman Tommy Jones suggested the city commit 25 percent of the grant.

The council unanimously approved the larger than required commitment of about $75,000.

But while Ranburne’s roads need work, the city’s sales tax revenue is taking a hit.

“We’re missing our parts store,” said Councilman Larry Smith.

Mitchell’s Auto and Used Cars, Value Foods and the Alabama Beverage Commission liquor store have all closed in the past few years, and the city’s sales tax revenue has taken a hit, Lowery said.

In fiscal year 2012, the city took in $79,799 by June 30, Richardson said. By the same time this fiscal year, that amount had dropped to $69,992, she said.

The council members also heard that the fee for a contract with the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce to join the Chamber’s shop-local campaign, Keep it in Cleburne, will be $600 a year. The chamber will help the city promote its local businesses, Lowery said.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.



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