By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded Lowndes County a $323,643 grant to improve four county roads there. The Community Development Block Grant will be used to widen, pave and improve the roadside drainage on four county roads in Lowndes County.
Governor Bentley said in a written statement, “The CDBG program is making a difference in lives across Alabama by improving and expanding public services like clean drinking water, adequate sewer systems and safe and reliable roads. I am pleased to award this grant which I know will improve daily life for many Lowndes County residents.” Gov. Bentley has notified the Lowndes County Commission that their grant request has been approved. Charlie King Jr. is the chairman of the Lowndes County Commission.
The dirt roads are a source of heavy dust during dry periods and residents say that the roads become nearly impassable during heavy rains and become a source of thick, heavy dust during dry periods. Lakeberry Lane, part of Lakeberry Road that connects U.S. Highway 80 with Burkville, Fleeton Road from Lowndes County Road 26 between I-65 and Hayneville, and Debeck Road which is south of U.S. Highway 80 and northeast of Hayneville.
The funds are provided by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). The people of Lowndes County are providing $173,132 in matching funds for the project.
ADECA oversees and administers numerous grant programs to support law enforcement, improve traffic safety, and encourage economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resource management and recreation development. ADECA has a staff of over 200 and a budget of $350 million a year. The legislature created ADECA to streamline and administer dozens of grant programs that the state receives from the federal government.
The former mayor of Prattville, Jim Byard Jr. is the Director of ADECA and a member of Gov. Bentley’s cabinet.
Governor Bentley has made improving Alabama roads a priority of his administration.