Jemison receives $480,000 grant

Published 1:37 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The City of Jemison has received $480,000 in grant funding from the Federal Transportation Alternatives Setaside Program for improvements to Main Street’s streetscape.

Approval of the grant application was announced during the Nov. 2 meeting of the Jemison City Council.

City Administrator Shannon Welch said the funds will replace all of the sidewalks on the old downtown portion, add handicap ramps and add wrought iron railings.

LED lights in antique style lampposts will also be installed along the sidewalk.

The design also creates an island where trees will be planted.

“We are also going to tear down the old pavilion over there and construct a new updated pavilion to assist the city in holding events over there,” Welch said.

The project is one that the city has wanted to do for more than a year, having been previously turned down for grant funding.

This year’s application was made in March.

“In the last year, we have done a lot of things to position the city in a better position to receive this grant,” Welch said. “The city has made some investments over there. We have moved our library over there. We have renovated a building over there.”

New businesses have also moved into previously empty buildings.

“We have over six new businesses over there,” Reed said.

Reed said the library location is in what was the former city hall, and “it is a magnificent place with a fantastic library inside.”

Welch said customers for these new businesses have begun calling the city asking what improvements could be made. He commented that he was glad the city was already working on it.

The city hopes to have the project work bid out to a contractor by the end of this year and have construction start in the spring.

City leadership is excited for the progress in the old downtown area and for the project to get started.

Also during the meeting, Donna Manasco was sworn in as the new council member for District 1.

Councilmen Donnie Lane, Allen Wilson, Rex D. Bittle and Samuel E. Reed were also sworn in to another term. Samuel Reed was approved as Chairman Pro Tempore.

Current department heads serving for the city were re-appointed to continue to serve.

The Mayor and Council thanked each for their hard work and dedication to the city. The Department heads present thanked the council for the opportunity and spoke about how much they enjoy their jobs. Many commented that it was a team effort to make the city successful.