City to make first ATRIP payment
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 15, 2014 | 1133 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jasper City Council voted in a special called meeting Tuesday to make its first payment to the county for projects funded by an Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program grant.

The council passed a resolution in August stating that the city would pay $140,000, the first of three annual installments, once the county incurred construction costs on the projects.

Attorney Russ Robertson reminded council members that county officials selected ATRIP, which required match money, over another program that did not require a match so the city could receive funding for projects as well.

As a result, the city agreed to share some of the extra expenses.

Walker County received more than $5 million in the final round of ATRIP funding.

Approximately $2.9 million will be used by the city to widen and resurface Viking Drive.

In all, Jasper received more than $11.4 million from ATRIP to use for improvements on Viking Drive, Airport Road, Walston Bridge Road, Ninth Avenue and Old Birmingham Highway.

The county’s projects include the restoration of Brown’s Bridge and Smith Chapel Bridge.

Robertson said although the county has not yet incurred construction costs, officials are requesting payment to offset other costs not covered by the resolution such as engineering services.

“It’s a timing question, not an ‘Are we going to pay it?’” question. If we can do this, then we’ll be able to get them that first payment and they can proceed with their projects,” Robertson said.

Additional installments will be due this November and in November 2015.

Mayor Sonny Posey said the discussions that have occurred between city and county officials over the ATRIP funding, construction of an animal shelter and other issues are signs of a new era in cooperation.

“I think what we’ve seen evidence of over the past several months are these two entities really beginning to come together and work together, and I think that bodes well for the future,” Posey said.