Governor awards grant to make vital sewer repair for Red Bay dogfood plant

Governor Robert Bentley

Governor Robert Bentley

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $200,000 grant to help the city of Red Bay make a vital sewer repair needed to keep a major employer up and running.

The Community Development Block Grant will enable the city to replace a damaged sewer line running to the Sunshine Mills Inc. plant which employs about 400 people and produces pet food sold at major retailers in the United States and worldwide.

On Oct. 7, a 65-year-old concrete sewer main serving the plant collapsed. The city reopened the 8-inch pipe but it is only able to handle the capacity of a 1-inch pipe. To keep the plant in operation, the city is currently transporting much of the 30,000 gallons of wastewater discharged daily by the plant in the production process.

“Sunshine Mills is a major employer in Red Bay and Franklin County and many families count on those jobs for their livelihood,” Bentley said. “I commend local leaders for working quickly to resolve this challenge, and I am pleased ADECA helped with the solution which will enable Sunshine Mills to continue operations for the future.”

The project will install 1,400 feet of 8-inch PVC sewer lines to the plant. A short line will run from 4th Street West to the plant and a longer line will run from 4th Street West along 3rd Avenue South and tie back to the existing sewer main along 5th and 6th streets west.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resource management and recreation development.

“As a former mayor, I understand the importance of an industry to the vitality of a city and its residents, many of which are employed by the same industry,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is pleased to help Red Bay and Franklin County to complete these needed repairs and ensure that the company’s employees will continue to have reliable, steady jobs.”

Bentley notified Mayor David Tiffin that he had approved the grant. Local funding of $45,835 will go toward the project.

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