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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

All Fairhope BP 'RESTORE' Projects Approved

Fairhope, Alabama

Recovery Council meeting at Five Rivers complex


This afternoon, the Alabama GCRC voted unanimously to approve all four of Fairhope's submitted projects on the list of 62 projects from Mobile and Baldwin counties under final consideration, including:

* $10 million for sewer collection system upgrades (Five year project)

* $650,000 for a Community-based Comprehensive Plan (Two year project)

* $6.2 million for Working Waterfront and Greenspace Restoration (Three year project)

* $1 million for an Eastern Shore Sanitary Sewer Prevention Plan (Three year project)


Next, after a 45 day public comment period, the projects will still have to be ok'd either by the Federal Recovery Council or the Treasury Department; Mayor Wilson, a member of the Alabama council, told the Times she expects the grants to start being awarded in about seven months from now if all goes as planned.


The council also approved projects submitted by Baldwin County for:

* ALDOT Capacity Improvements, including widening Highway 181 in east Fairhope.

* Right-of-way acquisition for the Baldwin Beach Express Extension to I-65.

* A flood monitor for Fish River at CR 32.

Projects from Orange Beach and Gulf Shores received the go ahead as well.

Mayor Wilson next to Mobile's Mayor Stimpson


Anonymous said...

I don't understand what any of this has to do with the BP oil spill except for the monies and grants. Shouldn't the money be used to help all affected by this? I mean, the sewers have been an issue for how long? Nothing to do with the oil spill. The comprehensive plan doesn't have anything to do with the oil spill. Take the money and actually help those that were affected by the spill. This city had plenty of problems before the spill. Why are they reaping the benefits when there are plenty out there that were actually affected?

Publisher said...

The projects qualify under the wide-ranging terms already set by the federal RESTORE Act law passed by Congress in 2012:

In July 2012, the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of all administrative and civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon spill to a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund) and outlines a structure by which the funds can be utilized to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is responsible for issuing compliance and auditing procedures for the entire Act and procedures for two grant programs administered by Treasury. Learn more about Treasury's role (link is external).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your coverage of these important issues. I'm surprised that an $18 million award to the city and taxpayers of Fairhope isn't being more recognized. This is a big deal. Granted, there is still a public comment period and these awards aren't final. But these are needed projects that will benefit everyone who lives in or visits the area.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I understand all of this has taken 5 years to culminate, so why is the current mayor taking/getting all of the credit for this? She's only been in office, what, a little over a year?

Publisher said...

After taking office, Mayor Wilson and Economic Director Sherry Botop submitted new proposals (different from those mayor Kant had submitted years earlier); the new proposals are what was just approved.