Community Block Grant for Love’s Travel Stops project to help provide jobs in Lowndes County

Published 2:35 am Monday, October 10, 2016

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

A $300,000 grant awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley will give interstate travelers another option on where to stop, provide additional revenue for Lowndes County and help create 30 local jobs.

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According to a press release from  the Office of Governor Robert Bentley and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Jim Byard Jr., director, released Friday, the Community Development Block Grant will provide infrastructure necessary for Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc. to construct a refueling center and convenience/food store off Interstate 65 at the Tyson Road (Exit 158) intersection in Letohatchee.

“Job creation is my number one priority and this grant will create new jobs in Lowndes County as well as provide upgrades to the infrastructure,” Bentley said. “This investment will also encourage potential development in the future, and I am pleased to play a role in this project.”

According to the office of the governor and ADECA, CDBG funds will be used to provide water service to the project which will be constructed on property east of the interstate. Love’s, an Oklahoma based company, has 12 travel stops in Alabama, employing more than 600 people.

The grant is being administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“A job changes a person’s life, and the location of a new business in Lowndes County is welcomed news because it provides a good opportunity for citizens in the community,” ADECA Director Byard said. “ADECA continually partners with local governments across the state on opportunities to make our state stronger, and I am honored ADECA could partner with the Lowndes County Commission in this important venture.”

According to a letter from Byard to Carnell McAlpine,  chairman of the Lowndes County Commission, dated Oct. 7, “Based upon the amount requested in your application and in consideration of the potentially significant impact that this project will have in your community, we have provided a waiver from the $200,000 CDBG Economic Development Infrastructure fund grant ceiling. In addition, due to the significant investment provided by the county for this project, we are providing a waiver from the full local match requirement.”

McAlpine told the Signal, “The commissioners are pleased that Governor Bentley is in support of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. locating in our county and that he has awarded $300,000 to assist with the project.”

McAlpine said the truck stop will actually provide about 40 jobs for citizens “and much needed tax revenue for the county.”

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy conservation, and water resource management.

According to the press release, Bentley notified McAlpine that the grant had been approved.