Mobile County Projects Pass RESTORE ACT Funding Milestone
March 09, 2018
Three Mobile County sponsored RESTORE Act projects have passed a critical milestone to receiving funding, according to Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood who serves on the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council. RESTORE projects are paid by fines levied against the companies responsible for the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010. More than $100 million has been allocated to projects in Mobile County in this funding phase.
The projects are the Blueway Trail Development, $8 million; Sediment Reduction/Paving, $10 million; and Toulmin Springs & Gum Tree Branch Stormwater Management Improvements and Stream Restoration Engineering & Design, $1.2 million.
“There is still a lot of work to be done before we get the money, but it is a good week for Mobile County projects,” Ludgood said.
The projects were among almost 50 projects approved for Mobile and Baldwin counties. Each project must pass additional logistical hurdles before funding is received, including submission of finalized documents, a 45-day public comment period and submission to the Treasury Department for the Blueway Trail project; and submission to the Gulf Coast Council for the Toulmin Springs & Gum Tree Branch, and the Sediment Reduction/Paving projects. Funding can be expected in 12-18 months.
The Blueway Trail project will increase and enhance the public’s access to local waters throughout Mobile County, protect sensitive environments along the coast, promote nature based tourism, and increase the potential for trail business and revenue income. Development and implementation will include construction, trail management, and promotional campaign elements based on a needs assessment, market analysis and trail and recreation planning.
The Sediment Reduction project will reduce the number of miles of unpaved roads in environmentally sensitive areas of south Mobile County. Paving roads will help reduce erosion and keep sedimentation from running into the environmentally sensitive coastal areas, wetlands and flood plains. “I plan to supplement the RESTORE money with other funding sources to help pave at least 13 unpaved roads in the south part of the county,” said Commissioner Jerry Carl.
The Toulmin Springs and Gum Tree Branch project will develop detailed plans and specifications to help restore and improve drainage and streams in those sub-watersheds to improve water quality and stormwater management. It will also help control and eradicate invasive vegetation.
Other projects important to Mobile County are upgrades to drinking and waste water facilities, including: Mt. Vernon Water Treatment Plant, $1.5 million; Northwest Satsuma Water and Sewer Project $1.8 million; and City of Chickasaw Sewer Rehabilitation Project, $1.25 million. These are in addition to Dauphin Island’s three Aloe Bay Town Harbour projects at $28 million, and Bayou la Batre’s City Docks Redevelopment at $21 million and wastewater and drinking water projects at $33.7 million.
In legislation appropriating the $1 billion in damages received by the state in settlement of the BP litigation, Mobile County received $60 million to be used exclusively for improvements to Highway 98 in west Mobile.