By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
GOOD HOPE —
As the County Road 222 interchange construction process begins, the City of Good Hope notes this project is only one of many adding jobs and financial gains to the community in 2014.
Three grants applied for by the municipality will pan out over the next few months as sewer line extensions are finished, restaurants move into town and road projects are completed. Good Hope Mayor Corey Harbison said on top of those three grants, there are more to come.
“We will hear back from the state in about two weeks. We submitted a request for a grant before Christmas,” Harbison said. “The more jobs we can create, the more funds we can apply for and potentially receive to give to the community to complete these projects.”
This particular Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) grant will generate $200,000 for Good Hope to use on Alabama Highway 69 for road improvements and areas in the downtown that will help prepare the community as the County Road 222 interchange is completed.
“All four corners of Good Hope will be affected by the interchange because each corner is within the city limits of Good Hope,” Harbison said. “I have a strong appreciation for all the elected officials who have worked hard over the last 10 years to get this project in the making. We’re just lucky enough to see it be completed during our tenure in office. It’s definitely been a joint effort between the city and the county.”
The three projects that began in 2013 include: the sewer line extension for James R. Smith Trucking company to County Road 222, which received a $150,000 grant; the WilcoHess travel center project that will bring in a Wendy’s restaurant, gas station, travel center and a pastry shop; the Lindsey Road Sewer line extension project which received around $350,000 in an Community Development Block Grant .
“The grants are each for different things, like the Community Block grants are for low-moderate income projects; A certain percentage of people are affected by the extension,” Harbison said. “I basically got the paperwork for that grant and went door to door and did it that way. With the WilcoHess project, 100 jobs will be created. The James R. Smith Trucking goal is to add 15 new jobs. Last, the Lindsey Road project only lacks 4-5 houses to being complete with the sewer line extension project. We’re over 80 percent done.”
Harbison said the city is seeking an Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) grant to reconstruct a bridge on Beech Road in 2014.
“We have a lot of good things coming to the community,” Harbison said. “I think this will be a great year for Good Hope.”
Good Hope city clerk Christie Chamblee said she’s already started classes to better prepare for the challenges of her position with the municipality.
“There’s a lot of things that I’m excited about learning,” Chamblee said. “I’m loving my job here. The municipal side is new to me. The accounting and bookkeeping part is easy and I’m good at it, but I’m learning the court side of things, which I really like. My main goal this year is to show the mayor and the council that I can do a good job for City of Good Hope.”
* Lauren Estes can be reached at email@example.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.