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Caledonia wants stimulus money for wastewater plant


Neal Wagner



CALEDONIA -- Although the state''s distribution of federal stimulus funds likely is several weeks away, Caledonia officials are rushing to organize one project to be considered for the funds, town officials said during a Tuesday Board of Aldermen meeting. 


"Last week, the legislature in Jackson talked about the stimulus funds and what they would be used for in the state," said Caledonia Mayor Bill Lawrence. "As it was described to me, about the only way we are going to be able to get close to getting funds would be to submit our wastewater treatment plant project." 


After legislators last week discussed the package, Caledonia officials decided to place nearly all of their focus on preparing the wastewater plant project to submit for funding. 


"We haven''t actually decided what we are going to do with our wastewater treatment system right now," Lawrence said. "The treatment plant we have now is more than 40 years old and will wear out without some improvements. 


"We aren''t sure exactly what kind of direction we are going to take with this project," he added. "We will probably call a special board meeting soon to discuss exactly what we are going to submit to Jackson." 


After speaking with legislators, Lawrence said he learned the wastewater facility likely would be the only project eligible for the stimulus funds. 


"They (the legislature) are just laughing at towns that are asking for walking paths and things like that," Lawrence said. "I think if we have all the engineering work done on the project before we submit it for funding, we will have a good chance to get the funds. 


"It would be an ideal project for the stimulus package," Lawrence added. "(Town Water Supervisor) Benny (Coleman) and I will see what we have to do to get that project ready to submit." 


Though no action was taken by the board, board members seemed in agreement with the plan to submit the project.  


In other news, the board: 


n Accepted a $5,800 bid from Scruggs Equipment to purchase a John Deere Gator all-terrain vehicle for the town''s parks and recreation department. The vehicle will replace a golf cart used by the department for several years. 


n Accepted a bid from Caledonia-based Sports Stuff and More to purchase baseball uniforms for the town''s baseball league. The 400 uniforms will cost about $8,800. 


n Passed a motion authorizing the reconstruction of the front porch on the town''s old Presbyterian church building. The board provided up to $5,000 to complete the project.




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