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Jasper Housing Authority receives $1.9 million for improvements

The Jasper Housing Authority has received $1.9 million that will improve the landscape of the Coke Oven Branch that includes the Petree apartment complex.

According to a press release from the Jasper Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the nearly-two million dollars from the Capital Fund Reserve for Emergencies and Natural Disasters (emergency funds).

The funding will be used to install new culverts, concrete walls, fencing and retaining walls. The construction of a pedestrian crossing will be part of the project as well, in addition to landscaping.

McGehee Engineering Corporation of Jasper will be responsible for creating a preliminary and final design for the project.

“I think this will be a major improvement for this city,” Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said. “I’m very pleased that our council saw fit to support the grant application by committing to do paving work in and around that portion of the housing authority.”

O’Mary said the work will also help to alleviate some drainage problems in the area.

The project is expected to begin in late May or early June.

Those with the Jasper Housing Authority wished to thank O’Mary and the Jasper City Council for supporting the project, as well as Birmingham HUD Field Office Director Ms. Velma Byron for her assistance with the process of securing the emergency funds.

“It’s a significant piece of work,” O’Mary said. “All the benefits of that work aside, a construction project of that magnitude brings many retail benefits to the city because there will be construction workers here for an extended period of time carrying out that work and they spend money and that generates sales tax revenue for the city.”

BY NICOLE SMITH – DME