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Valley discusses Industrial Park needs

VALLEY — At a Thursday evening work session, the Valley City Council reviewed revenue trends thus far for 2018, heard plans for road paving that will soon be taking place, looked at future needs for Valley Industrial Park and the status of the much-needed grants for the John Soules Foods project.

City Treasurer Cathy Snowden told council members that sales tax revenue is running close to $37,000 ahead of last year’s pace. Some sources, such as tobacco taxes and EMS revenue, are down compared to last year.

In terms of expenses, it’s been costing the city more than normal to cut large oak trees on the city’s right of way. Such trees have to be removed when they start to lose large limbs and are in danger of falling. It’s also becoming more costly to remove dilapidated housing.

“Almost all mill village houses have asbestos in them,” explained Mayor Leonard Riley. “This adds another $2,500 to bring it down.”

The city is now seven months into the 2017-18 fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1. Over that span, the city has brought in around $5.2 million in revenue with some $4.8 million in expenses.

The city will be doing lots of street paving between now and the first of July. Included is the portion of Cusseta Road from Fairfax Bypass to Huguley Road, portions of 55th and 56th streets and one major project – River Road from Trammell Block to McGinty’s Crossing and California Road from that same intersection to School Street in River View. That big project will come last. This will allow the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District some time to complete some ongoing projects along those two roads.

A public hearing will be taking place prior to Monday’s 6 p.m. council meeting to discuss two grant requests associated with the John Soules Foods project. These requests include a $500,ooo Community Development Block Grant and a $250,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant. Phase I of the John Soules project is expected to cost $1.5 million.

An estimated 75 percent of the wastewater discharge at the plant will be taking place in the late-night hours. This may make it necessary to have a new lift station and trunk line built for the plant.

Mayor Riley said that a lot of clean-up work has been taking place at the building off Towel Avenue where JSF will be locating.

“They have taken out a lot of electrical wiring,” he said. “They have cleared off all the way to  the fence at KMIN (a nearby Korean auto supplier). I’m hoping some local contractors will be part of the coming work inside the building.”

The mayor said he was very pleased at the way things went at Wednesday’s on-site groundbreaking at Valley Industrial Park. Scannell Properties several months ago purchased a 30-acre site in the park and will soon be building a 375,000-square-foot distribution center for WestRock.

To accommodate future growth in the industrial park, it will be necessary to do some significant grading, to put in more sewer lines and possibly to build a new water tank.

“We have some work to do,” Mayor Riley said. “East Alabama does, too.”