Even though Jefferson County remains in bankruptcy, county officials and local mayors a state program will help patch roads.
Wednesday, Jefferson County officials and area mayors gave thanks to ATRIP. The Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program uses 80% federal funds and a 20% local match to fund needed road work.
"The good news is it's time to start growing Jefferson County and economic development is a very important part of that," Tony Petelos, Jefferson County Manager, said.
Wednesday Petelos and mayors expressed gratitude to Gov. Robert Bentley for ATRIP. The county and many of the cities would not be able to make the improvements without the program.
"We know the $1.69 million that is happening for the city of Midfield, we couldn't afford to do that on our own. We are really grateful," Mayor Gary Richardson said.
Jefferson County received about $47 million in federal funds and $11 million in local match. The county and some of the cities have been at odds over maintaining county roads within city limits. In 2009 the county turned the maintenance of county through-roads over to the cities because of money problems.
"Hopefully the county in the future will find some way to help these cities. We all ride the all over the roads in Jefferson County," Sandra Little Brown, Jefferson County Commissioner, said.
Gardendale Mayor Othell Phillips said some of the ATRIP funds would go to fix those county roads within his city.
"A lot of these were county roads. We partnered to do try to cover these roads and do improvements necessary. They probably wouldn't be completed if we didn't do this," Phillips said.
The road work is expected to create construction jobs and sales taxes for the county and the cities.
"This was a good shot in the arm for Jefferson County and for the cities in Jefferson County. We are glad to have this available to us," Petelos said.
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