Council awards contract for water, sewer improvements

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 16, 2020

VALLEY — On Monday, the Valley City Council awarded a contract for just over $2.55 million to Crawford Grading and Pipeline, Inc. for water and sewer line improvements needed before the John Soules Foods plant can open in June 2021.

The major part of the work involves building a lift station on the south end of the plant site.

The council also approved a resolution asking the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs (ADECA) to increase from $500,000 to $900,000 a grant in support of this project. This is based on a commitment on the part of the company to increase the number of new jobs from 150 to 500.

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There are projected to be more than 200 new jobs when John Soules Foods opens its first production line and more than 500 when it opens two additional lines a year or so after that.

Of the $2.55 million cost for the water and sewer improvements, ADECA will cover $900,000, the Chambers County Development Authority $150,000 and the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District will cover the remainder. The $900,000 will be federal grants through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

The contractor should be finished with their work by next spring. John Soules Foods plans to open its Valley plant on July 1, 2021.

On another matter, the city approved a resolution to accept a deed of dedication from David Cotney Construction LLC to accept a roadway connecting 19th Street with 18th Avenue. At one time, a mobile home park was on the site.

Mayor Riley said that an existing road on the property was in pretty good shape. It will now be maintained by the city.

To meet with social distancing guidelines, the council was spread out more than usual inside the council chamber. The sparse crowd in attendance included Mayor Riley, council members Jim Clark, Randall Maddux, Jim Jones, Henry Cooper and Jimmy Gilson, City Clerk Kathy Snowden, Police Chief Tommy Weldon and Code Enforcement Officer Reid Riley.