New Site Mayor Phil Blasingame has been talking about a healthcare clinic in New Site since taking office nearly three years ago.
Blasingame and the New Site Town Council have been applying for grants, talking to medical professionals and contractors to bring rural healthcare to the small town.
“I have been waiting a year and a half to say we are approved,” Blasingame said. “We are excited to get to look at the next steps.”
New Site was approved for a $200,000 grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission and Blasingame officially shared the news at the council meeting Tuesday. Blasingame said the council also talked about the next steps which include opening bids for the project Sept. 26. He said the coming days will bring meetings with Russell Medical CEO Jim Peace and Jackson Pharmacy to put together a lease for the facility.
“We will have a work session the first week of October to talk about the lease agreements and the bid,” Blasingame said. “It is so we take everything up in October. Once bids come in we will see if we are in budget.”
Blasingame said the town would take out a tax-exempt loan to cover the other $300,000 of the project to be built next to the New Site Town Hall.
The council also learned the easements for the Big Woods water expansion have been recorded.
“We have been approved for a $15,000 grant for that project,” Blasingame said. “We were also approved to transfer $15,740 from the other expansion project.”
Blasingame said that is enough funds to fully fund the project with the work being done by town employees.
“We will start clearing the area soon,” Blasingame said. “Because of the grant, the work on the pipe will start after Nov. 1.”
The council also received copies of the proposed budget at Tuesday’s meeting.
“Town clerk Shelia Fuller and I have been working on it,” Blasingame said. “It will be on the agenda unless the council wants to make changes.”
Blasingame also told the council the resurfacing of Church Street is complete.
“It looks really good,” he said. “It was in terrible shape.”
The town gave the Tallapoosa County Commission $20,000 from gas tax money it has received and commissioner John McKelvey put another $16,000 in the pot to make the project happen.
The next meeting of the New Site Town Council is 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16.