Jasper city administrators have received a $500, 000 grant to help build nearly 3 miles of sewer line in the area, however they must now find a way to come up with the remaining balance needed to complete the work.
Along with the grant, Jasper has commitments from several local property owners and one business, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores of Oklahoma City, Okla., for $1 million for the plan that would allow them to annex about 35 parcels of land between U.S. Highway 41 and I-24′s exit 158 and build the line.
Mayor Billy Simpson said engineers estimated the cost for the sewer line around $1.3 million as a high estimate.
According to City Attorney, Mark Raines, this was just an initial estimate by an engineering company, however in reality it will likely be less. ”It could be more,” Raines said. He said it depends on the market.
City officials feel confident the remaining $377,000 will be pledged by local business owners and county leaders, however members of the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen said they want the public to know where they stand on paying that money.
Alderman Steve Looney told Ryan Lewis of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “I don’t want us stuck out here for that $377,000. If it’s not there, I’m not voting for this.”
Vice Mayor Leon Rash said he was “100 percent for the project,” but insists the balance come from outside of the city.
Mayor Simpson said he thought all the board members felt the same way, but Alderman Paul Evans disagreed.
Evans says if Love’s builds a facility at the exit it would guarantee 30 jobs and create a larger tax base for the city.
Acquiring the remaining money is “a work in progress,” Raines said.
Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press