SALTILLO • Saltillo officials hope to secure state funding to pay for sewer line improvements along Old Saltillo Road.

The board of aldermen voted Tuesday to apply to the Mississippi Development Authority for up to $450,000 in small city community development block grant funds.

“CDBGs are used for public utility improvements in low to moderate income areas,” said Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith. “We generally don’t qualify for these but since this is right there by Pinecrest (a Section 8 government subsidized subdivision), we’ve got a good shot.”

The grants are allocated with varying percentages of local matching money, from 10 percent up to 50 percent.

“If it is a 50-50 match or if we don’t get the CDBG, we’ll have to do it ourself but it won’t be anytime soon.”

The improvements call for replacing a deep sewer line that runs down the middle of Old Saltillo Road. The area in question runs from around Pinecrest Road up to Hughes Drive right behind Saltillo Elementary School. The line is about 12 feet deep. It is starting to sink and cause problems with the road and the wastewater system.

If the city wanted to simply dig up the line and replace it where it is, it would require shutting down a busy city street for several months. That is not really a viable option.

A developer is looking to put in a subdivision across the street and will have to install sewer infrastructure about 5 feet deep to connect with the existing lines. So the city started looking at ways to combine the two.

Officials hope to build a new sewer main to the east of the road. The proposed subdivision would connect to the new line. Smith noted the new line would still have to be the same 12-foot deep but relocating it would get it out from under the roadway. That would make future maintenance easier.

Officials are trying to get in their application as soon as possible to take advantage of timing. Officials feel they have a better chance of securing grant money before any upscale houses are built across the street.

“If we wait until the houses are built, we feel our chances will be slimmer,” Smith said.

william.moore@journalinc.com

Twitter:@WilliamMoore_DJ

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