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ADEM gives grant for Moore’s Creek

VALLEY — The City of Valley stands to benefit from an Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) grant designed to help with an erosion problem on Moore’s Creek.

There’s public money available, but the work must be completed by February 2020. This grant previously covered the cost of some stream restoration work that took place in Lanett in 2017.

In a Tuesday afternoon meeting at Bradshaw-Chambers County Library, progress was made toward getting the work completed in 2019. Valley Mayor Leonard Riley offered for the city to contribute $3,000 to overcome a possible snag involving the need to move poles owned by Alabama Power. The $3,000 cost was the least expensive among three options discussed. The other two options involved moving more poles at the cost of $65,000 for one option and $28,000 for another.

The $3,000 option will allow for one power pole near the creek to be relocated, possibly by April.

Should the project proceed on schedule, the portion of Moore’s Creek that flows in front of city hall, past Fob James Drive and Highway 29, under the Sugar Bridge and on past the Horace King Memorial Bridge could receive erosion control. An environmentally friendly product known as flex mat can be used to protect the banks. The grant will cover the cost of planting native vegetation along the creek banks.

The steering committee discussing this included representatives of the City of Valley, the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Agency, City of Lanett, Chambers County EMA, Auburn University and Chambers County Extension. They have been divided into three subcommittees. The subcommittees include Community Outreach and Planning, which includes Ken McMillan, Hannah Bradford, Cassie Carlisle, Sid Lockhart and Tony Chandler; an education committee made up of Rachel Snoddy, Shannon McGlynn, Tony Segrest, Patrick Rohling and Morton Reed, and a Vegetation Committee with Ken McMillan, James Jackson, Chuck Rudd, Justin Barrett and Laura Bell.

There was some discussion of developing a rain garden near the 9-1-1 Center. The grant could help get it started, and it could be maintained by the EMA staff, possibly with a helping hand from the FFA students at Chambers County Career Tech.

Once the stream restoration work has been completed, volunteers can help maintain a healthy stream. This can be done through water monitoring. This could take place at 20 different sites along Moore’s Creek with up to 80 people taking water samples to be tested. Volunteers can also help with litter pick-ups at designated areas.

Committee Member Jason Fuller said that Montgomery-based People Against a Littered State, or PALS, will provide all the trash bags needed for cleanups. They sometimes will provide gloves too. All they need is manpower to get the job done.

PALS will be working with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper on the trash pickups, possibly in April. In March, Riverkeeper will be hosting a River Rendezvous in Valley.