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Cottonwood Shores deposits first American Rescue Plan check in the bank

Cottonwood Shores

Pedestrians wanting to walk from the Cottonwood Shores Police Station to City Hall can use the new crosswalk linking the buildings located at the end of Cottonwood Drive. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The city of Cottonwood Shores received $152,000, its first portion of money from the American Rescue Plan, City Administrator J.C. Hughes told the council during its regular meeting Aug. 19.

“They increased our allotment,” he said. “It’s up to $304,000. We’ve already deposited the first allotment into our account. The second installment will come in January.”

City officials will use the money to purchase power generators and pay for the installation work to ensure they operate properly. One generator will go to the water plant, and the other will go to the new lift station that will be located on the west side of the city.

“Those two critical items will be supported by energy power generators,” Hughes said. “We’re excited about them.”

The city administrator added that he has found the generators and spoken with a company to get the electrical connections ready.

“We’re moving forward at 99 miles an hour,” Hughes said. “I’d like to get it all installed before the deep winter.”

As for when the lift station construction will begin, Hughes said city leaders are following process.

“We’ve received our preliminary design drawings,” he said. “Once we review those, we can give them to the engineer, who will then submit them to the federal government for final approval. We’re hoping to get started on this in November.”

That’s about the same timeline for the work to begin on the $1.5 million upgrades to the water system. Councilors approved obtaining certificates of obligation to pay for the work in November 2020.

“That’s a major infrastructure improvement to our city,” Hughes said.

When councilors voted for the certificates of obligation, Mayor Donald Orr said city leaders believed upgrading the water lines would entice homebuilders to construct more houses in Cottonwood Shores.

That is, in fact, happening, Hughes said, pointing to Ameritex Homes, which has acquired seven permits to start construction on lots located on Aspen and Driftwood lanes.

jfierro@thepicayune.com