Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 13, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community and future
Tuesday, January 13, 2009Index
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Mayor seeking help for roads
By Karen Middleton
The area’s mayors are hoping there is strength in numbers.
Athens Mayor Dan Williams said he met with North Alabama Transportation Foundation Director Kurt Furst, Madison City Councilman Jerry Jennings and Courtland Mayor Ted Letson over the weekend to formulate plans for a coalition of some 80 North Alabama mayors to present infrastructure needs to the new administration in Washington.
The North Alabama cities join a list of some 427 cities nationwide vying for their share of as much as $700 billion in federal dollars. The money is expected to be offered as part of Presidentelect Barack Obama’s plan to jump-start the economy.
• If Congress approves the Obama administration’s plan, it would be the largest domestic infrastructure initiative since Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.
Williams said he brought two projects to the meeting—U.S. 72 railroad underpass and Nuclear Plant Road.
“There is a real problem along Highway 72,” said Williams. “We need more lanes going under the railroad. All of West Limestone and Lauderdale County must come through there on
See Roads, page 3A
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When industry doesn't make employment numbers, state agency wants money back
By Karen Middleton
r. com An Athens industry didn’t make predicted employment numbers, so the city must refund $100,000 of a grant to a state .agency.
When Quality Culvert opened in
2006 on Elm Street in the old Martin Industries building and applied for a state grant for a rail spur and plant improvements, company officials predicted they would employ 125 workers. Employment has never reached more than 42.
Monday, city grant coordinator Kathy McHugh told the Athens City Council they could either “sit out the grant or pay back the $100,000” so that the city could be free to be considered for further grants from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
McHugh said Quality Culvert had asked for $600,000 in its grant application, but ADECA was not
satisfied when the jobs created were less than half of the predicted numbers. The industry received $299,629.
The Council voted unanimously to pay back $100,000 of that to ADECA and company officials have said they w ill pay the city back the money.
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TVA: No problems from spill
Officials say a coal ash spill in N. Alabama is not cause for concern
VALLEY, PAGE 4A
Will Reid School dose?
We all know someone who has devoted his or her time to make this community a better place to live.
Whether through volunteer efforts, public service or civic duty, countless people have changed lives by giving time, sharing ideas or solving problems.
The News Courier will feature
these people in a special section in February called Top 25 Over 55.
We are seeking nominations from the community.
Use the form on page 8A of today’s edition and mail to Top 25 Over 55, The News Courier, 410 W. Green St., Athens, Ala., 35611, or e-mail the information requested on the form to Kelly Kazek at
Required information includes: Name of nominee, contact numbers for nominee, nominee’s place of business, name of person making nomination, contact numbers for that person, and a few sentences about how this person has helped make Limestone County a better place to live.
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Limestone County school board members are discussing whether to maintain or close Reid Elementary School. Their discussion was ongoing at presstime Monday during the monthly board meeting.
Proration forces board to consider closing 50-year-old county school
By Jean Cole
jean kaathensnews-courier. com Limestone County school board members had the first of a series of discussions Monday on whether to keep or close Reid Elementary School.
If it closed, the school’s 166 students would be transferred either to Tanner High School
or to the new Clements elementary school, which is expected to open in 2010.
Reid, located off Browns Ferry Road, is the oldest of the system’s five elementary schools.
Board member John Wayne King stressed that no decision has been made regarding the future of Reid and
that the board is only studying the matter.
The issue at Reid is whether to maintain the school - which needs $1.9 million in repairs, costs $400,000 to $450,000 in salaries and $55,000 to $60,000 to maintain - or
See Reid, page 3A