Gov. Ivey announces grant to upgrade Reform sewage plant

MONTGOMERY —Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a $61,348 grant to help the city of Reform upgrade its wastewater collection process to comply with state environmental regulations.

The funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable the city to replace and upgrade equipment to continue to resolve and comply with environmental violations cited by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

“The Appalachian Regional Commission has helped eligible Alabama communities, like Reform, overcome obstacles and accomplish objectives,” Gov. Ivey said. “Alabama’s partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission has produced positive results, and I commend the city of Reform for using the resources available through this partnership to address this issue.”

The grant funds will help the city purchase chopper pumps at its wastewater treatment facility to help break down sewage entering the facility. City officials say that heavy fiber materials such as baby and disinfectant wipes – not intended to be disposed of through toilets – have clogged and damaged existing pumps, resulting in system down time and costly repairs.

Reform officials say that the city has taken numerous steps during the past five years to address environmental deficiencies cited by ADEM. However, efforts have been hampered because of maintenance and repair costs due in part to clogged pumps.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC programs in Alabama.

“Sewer systems and wastewater facilities are one of the most vital city services, yet their value often doesn’t register until an issue arises,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “I join Gov. Ivey in commending Reform officials for diligently seeking resources to resolve their wastewater treatment issue.”

ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Pickens County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.

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