GOOD HOPE — The Good Hope Hope City Council passed a resolution Monday night to accept a $300,000 grant to build a new road that will serve as the main entrance to the Stash House restaurant, Good Hope Pharmacy and a new medical facility.
As part of the grant agreement from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Good Hope will provide $222,558 in matching funds to cover the full $522,558 cost of the new road coming off of AL-69.
The city's matching funds will come from its economic development fund, said Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett.
The Stash House restaurant, which is set to open this summer, will be located in the old Cotton Gin property. The Good Hope City Council approved a land sale in January of the land adjacent to Good Hope Pharmacy to a developer that is planning a $2.5 million to $3 million investment to build a medical facility on the land.
The Community Development Block Grant from ADECA will provide much of the funding for the road because of 35 new jobs that are projected to be created between the two new businesses.
With the new businesses coming to the area, the Alabama Department of Transportation also wanted a new road to serve as the entrance to the businesses because of the steep incline and low visibility for anyone pulling onto the highway from Lindsey Road, Bartlett said.
"ALDOT seems to think it's going to be a lot more safe," he said.
The construction will also feature a deceleration lane for those turning right off of AL-69, and the pharmacy's current entrance on AL-69 will be closed as part of the new road's construction, Bartlett said.
Good Hope sold the land that is now the site of Good Hope Pharmacy eight years ago, and part of the agreement to build the pharmacy included the city's commitment to building an access road to the pharmacy to improve the safety of its entrance, said City Planner Corey Harbison.
Instead of building an access road in front of the pharmacy that comes off the highway, ALDOT suggested building a new road that will run between the pharmacy and new development and connects to the Stash House restaurant as a better option, he said.
Harbison said he has had preliminary talks with the pharmacy's owners about the new road, and they are willing to close their entrance from the highway in favor of the new road that would connect them with the medical facility next door.
Bartlett and Harbison said they spoke with ADECA Monday afternoon to hammer out the details of the grant, so the council was not able to get advance notice of the resolution before Monday evening's meeting.
Councilwoman Susan Eller voted in favor of the resolution, but said she would have liked more time to consider the city's commitment of the funding to the project.
Harbison pointed out that the grant is contingent on the construction of the medical facility next to the pharmacy, so the council's passing of the resolution to accept the grant does not mean that the city is on the hook to provide the $222,000 for the road if that development does not pan out.
He said the city has not yet closed the sale of the property, but the developer has indicated that he is ready to begin construction as soon as the sale is finalized.
"If it falls through with the medical clinic and we don't close on that property, then the road is a dead issue and we won't be out that money," he said. "This is all contingent on everything happening."