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Cottonwood, AL Will Receive Grant to Replace Tornado Stricken Fire Station

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COTTONWOOD, Ala (WDNews)  June 26, 2024 – Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a grant of over $680,000 to rebuild Cottonwood’s fire station, which was destroyed by a powerful tornado in January.

The Houston County town leaders sought the Community Development Block Grant after an EF-2 tornado ravaged Cottonwood, demolishing homes, businesses, and government buildings. Since the disaster, the Cottonwood Fire Department has stored its trucks and equipment in a local farmer’s barn and at the Hodgesville Fire Department, located 12 miles away. The department’s 15 volunteer members serve the town’s 1,440 residents.

“The tornado that struck Cottonwood was devastating, and the loss of the town’s only fire station created a critical need,” Gov. Ivey stated. “I am pleased to award this grant that will help the town rebuild the fire station and again provide its residents with access to prompt and efficient emergency services.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is managing the grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell added, “After meeting with local leaders and state legislators, we determined that this project qualified for a grant through the CDBG urgent need fund. ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in support of the residents of Cottonwood as they work to recover from this natural disaster.”

Gov. Ivey notified Mayor James Coachman of the grant approval, and the town has committed local matching funds to support the project.

ADECA oversees various programs supporting law enforcement, victim assistance, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation, and recreation.