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City receives historic grant

By Michael Butler

Screams were coming from mayor Johnny Hammock's office at Tallassee City Hall.

"My assistant Wendy was like, 'Are you okay? What's wrong with you? I just had chill bumps," Hammock said.

The yells were of jubilation. Tallassee was awarded a $2.4 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to help fund upgrades at the city's sewer treatment plant.

"We just hit the jackpot," Hammock added. "That puts this administration since Nov. 7, 2016 at over $3.5 million in grants."

The city recently added an ad valorem tax that collects approximately $300,000 annually to be used for funding $4.8 million in infrastructure improvements.

"I want to thank God. I've prayed a lot about this," Hammock said. "This is a great win for Tallassee."

The grant application process has been ongoing for more than a year.

"I felt good about it when I got Richard Shelby to write a letter. He's on the appropriations committee."

Sen. Shelby commented on the allocation of funds for Tallassee.

"The water and wastewater system upgrades will improve quality of life for residents and promote efficiency throughout the local business community, allowing for further expansion," Shelby noted. "I look forward to seeing the impact this grant will have on Tallassee and the surrounding region."

Hammock called the grant the "Super Bowl" of grants.

"I looked back and there were some big grants in the industrial park with ADECA at over $1 million. I couldn't find one that was over $2 million," the mayor explained. "I'm not going to say it's the largest grant in Tallassee, but it probably is."

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey applauded the efforts of those involved.

"I am grateful to the U.S. Department of Commerce and Secretary Wilbur Ross for selecting Tallassee, to receive these critical enhancements. The Trump Administration clearly understands that infrastructure must be a priority to foster a thriving economy, and I am proud to support those efforts."