published Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

County approves paving, school football field constuction


by Dan Whisenhunt
Audio clip

Hamilton County Commission meeting

The Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday signed off on $1 million in stimulus-funded paving projects, spending most of the $1.35 million it received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The county also awarded a $202,430 contract to build a football field at East Hamilton Middle-High School, with most of the money coming from Commissioner Larry Henry's discretionary money.

Commissioner John Allen Brooks explained that each of the seven paving projects approved needed to be looked over by an engineering firm to make sure it's in line with the stimulus act.

The federal stimulus will cover paving of nine roads all told.

"I can't see us not accepting (the money)," Mr. Brooks said.

County Engineer Todd Leamon said most of the roads had not been paved in 15 years and were cracked and full of potholes.

The commission gave the contract for the football field to Costcon General Contractors. Mr. Henry provided $100,000, using money from two discretionary spending accounts. Another $82,000 came from the sale of the former Signal Mountain Middle School property.

Mr. Henry said the contract will get some of the project started. He said adding stands and other parts of the complex will cost more, and the money must be raised.

Paving projects approved

* Standifer Gap Road

* Woodland Drive

* Fairview Road

* Gold Point Circle

* Lovell Road

* Moses Road

* Crabtree Road

Source: Hamilton County Commission

Mr. Leamon said the contract will cover a drainage system, grading, sodding and fencing of the field. The plan is to finish before fall football season, he said.

East Hamilton principal Pam Dantzler said she was excited when she heard the project will move forward. She said there has been talk of building the field for the last few years, but some people who initially committed to helping build it backed out when the economy took a nosedive.

"We would all love to believe academics are what brings together a school, but as far as a community is concerned ... school pride comes from the athletics and we have not been able to host anything on site other than when we had our gyms completed," she said.

In other action, the commission reappointed Don Haynes, Phil Smartt and Louis Wright to five-year terms on the county Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority.

View complete coverage of government stimulus funded projects

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Article: Hamilton County: Commissioners approve grant, talks elections

Article: Hamilton County: Commission doles out money from school sale

Article: Hamilton County School Board member endorses Chuck Fleischmann

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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