By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The City of Gadsden, in partnership with the Etowah County Community Development Committee, witnessed completion of a project that extended a water line 800 feet, opening the door for residential development on Marjorie Circle, just off Brow Drive in District 7.
Mayor Sherman Guyton said construction of four new houses on the circle will begin soon, and there’s every reason to expect more construction to follow. City of Gadsden Councilman Ben Reed said the projections are that 100 new homes will be developed in the area. Reed said it’s estimated that each new home created four permanent jobs, making a development of this size a definite plus for the area.
On hand to mark the completion of the project was District 29 Rep. Becky Nordgren, who supported the awarding of a community development grant, which, combined with some private funds, helped the City of Gadsden to fund the project.
The expertise of the Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board, and its labor, was essential in completing the project.
According to Water Works General Manager Frank Eskridge, that expertise was needed. An excavator with a jackhammer was needed to break up rock for the placement of the water lines. Eskridge said the lines needed to be three feet deep, and in same places the type of sandstone found was hard to break up.
Using the jackhammer equipped excavator allowed them to forego blasting in the area. Given the nearby houses on Brow Drive, Eskridge said, water works employees didn’t want to resort to blasting.
Reed said the project and construction of new homes should help curtail the loss of population the city has experienced in recent decades. A number of new affordable homes will be available, he said, for people who want to locate in one of the city’s most scenic areas.
“Development always inspires more development,” Reed said. “The benefits are always greater than the costs.”