New Site Mayor Phil Blasingame is all smiles about progress made by New Site in 2019 and the town’s future.

“2019 was an exceptional year for us,” Blasingame said. “We received two large grants from (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) but the grants started in 2018.”

In the past three years New Site has been awarded $750,000 in grant monies through ADECA to expand and improve the town’s water system, build a health clinic and pharmacy and renovate the senior center. Blasingame said $565,000 in work was completed on the water system in 2019 adding backup power to the only pumping station at Hillabee Creek supplying water from Alexander City, installing about 900 electronic water meters speeding up the process of reading meters and providing more accurate usage totals, replacing old pipes, adding new users and providing a booster pump in a low pressure area.

“We were awarded a $285,000 grant for the water system in 2018 but the work was completed in 2019,” Blasingame said. “It allows us to provide quality water service to our citizens.”

Grants and in-kind work from the Tallapoosa County Commission allowed the extension of water system along 1 mile of Big Woods Road.

Several small grants and monies from the town allowed the New Site gym renovation. Life safety measures like fire alarms and exit lighting were installed and new lights helped the town turn the facility into a practice gym for Horseshoe Bend School teams.

“It has been turned over to the schools,” Blasingame said. “They had kids there late because of lack of practice space. This will allow them to get home at a reasonable hour.”

While the water system and gym are good, Blasingame is especially proud of two grants awarded in 2019 for the health clinic and pharmacy. The health clinic received a $200,000 grant from ADECA. The organization also granted the town $177,000 for renovations to the senior center. The grants will make 2020 a good year for the town.

“The health clinic will help our community and surrounding area,” Blasingame said. “The grants will help provide health services and recreational opportunities to our residents, especially the elderly.”

The health clinic and senior center renovations are still in the planning stages and will have to be let for bid but will soon be serving residents, Blasingame said.

“We believe work will be completed by July on both the clinic and senior center,” Blasingame said. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s looking like 2020 will be a great year too.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.