Funding sought for Neighborhood Facilities Building upgrades

Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri shows outdated lockers in the dressing areas of the Neighborhood Facilities Building that will be replaced pending grant approval.

HALEYVILLE    -  Multiple and long-overdue improvement projects totaling over $1 million  are in the works for two major attractions in Haleyville.
Outdated features at the Neighborhood Facilities Building - some which have not been updated since the structure was built in 1973 - are in dire need of renovation, with the city hoping to receive $1.5 million in funding, according to Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri.
“The facilities building is a project we’ve been looking at for the last three years,” Sunseri said.
The dressing rooms at the pool area of the building, located on Highway 13, are not handicap accessible, Sunseri began.
“The entrance into the dressing rooms  is not ADA compliant,” Sunseri said, referring to guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  “That building was built before ADA guidelines came into effect.”  
Sunseri listed other concerns at the facilities building, including outdated flooring and other features in the locker room and restroom areas.
“We’re checking, but I think we are going to have asbestos in the tile,” Sunseri pointed out. “So all of that will have to be torn out.”
The tile floors are cracking and showing other signs of deterioration.  Several of the lockers are missing locks, Sunseri showed. New hot water heaters are also needed, he added.
Overall improvements to be tackled, depending on grant funding, are upgraded men’s and women’s locker rooms, showers and restrooms to bring them under compliance with ADA guidelines, according to Mayor Sunseri.
“Some of it has been updated, but you have to remember, this was done in the ‘70s,”  Sunseri said.
The project will also involve resurfacing the front parking lot, and possible roof drainage on the NFB building being tackled, depending on grant funding, according to Sunseri.
“We’ve patched it numerous times, but it probably hasn’t been redone in several years,” he added.
“It’s going to be a major, major project,” he noted.
For this reason, the city is seeking $1,571,786 in funding to be applied toward the overall project cost of $1,964,733. The city would provide $392,947 toward the project costs, Sunseri explained.
The mayor hopes the funding will be received, especially since ADA requirements must be met.
“When we go after these things, we’re competitive with everybody,” Sunseri stressed. “Anything we do, we’re competing.
“Throughout the state, in all these projects, we’re competing statewide,” the mayor pointed out.
Until the funding can be received, the city is facing limited funding resources to tackle the major issues at the facilities building, according to Sunseri.
“We work off of a budget,” said Sunseri. “There’s X amount of dollars that are brought in  from sales tax, property tax, fines.
“We only have a limited amount of money we can use for doing any type of project,” Sunseri continued.  “That’s the reason why I have to work on budgeting, scheduling and making sure we have the matches available for these projects.
“There are a ton of things, if I had the money, I would do today,” the mayor continued. “But we don’t have the finances to pay for all of that.”


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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