Fort Deposit among towns to earn grants

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Residents of south-central Alabama will see some community improvements thanks to $850,000 in grants awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley to three municipalities, including Fort Deposit.

According to the governor’s office, Bentley awarded a $250,000 to Fort Deposit to build a new senior citizen center, a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant to Greenville to make improvements at two city parks and McKenzie was awarded a $350,000 grant to improve public water service.

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“These grants represent important investments in Alabama communities,” Bentley said. “I know these improvements will make this area of Alabama an even better place to call home.”

Fort Deposit will build a 1,900-square-foot building to provide the area’s senior citizens with their own place to meet, be served hot meals and socialize.

A program for seniors has been conducted at the town’s fire station, but with the new building the town expects to serve more participants.

“We are grateful for the grant,” Fort Deposit Mayor Fletcher Fountain said. “And it’s going to mean a lot the town and senior citizens for the town.”

Fountain said it would free up the fire department and give more room for the senior citizens “so we can enlarge senior citizen (services) and serve more people in Fort Deposit.”

Greenville will use the funding to make health and safety improvements at Dunbar Park and the Beeland Park Complex and Recreation Center. Work at Beeland Park will include burying utility lines, renovating restrooms at the recreation center and upgrading a facility that contains the press box, concession stand and restrooms at a ball field complex. At Dunbar Park, the city will demolish an unused swimming pool and construct a pavilion and picnic area.

McKenzie will upgrade the city’s water system by installing new water lines on North and South Hester, Church, Mancil and McKenzie streets and Hartley Road. Fire hydrants also will be installed.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Bentley notified Fountain of Fort Deposit and mayors Dexter McClendon of Greenville and Melvin Shufford of McKenzie that the grants had been awarded.