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Uniontown faces turmoil over long-term water system issues

In an alarming county wide trend, the city of Uniontown has been dealing with its own issues related to the water system. Similar to Marion, the system was dated and had not been properly maintained for a while.

The city of Uniontown had been attempting to get a grant to fix the water system for a while and back in 2019, they were able to finally get it. The overall total of the grant was around $34 million dollars to try and repair Uniontown’s water system.

The money came from three different benefactors but the brunt of the funds (around $31 million) went to Gulf Coast Underground, a general construction and engineering firm. But it became difficult to find a solution for how to use such funds. The water system was old and outdated and the collection system was broken, making it difficult for the City to account for wastewater. The water board cut a deal to have the wastewater pumped to Demopolis for cleaning, a deal that required new pipes to be run and replaced in order for the water to be transported to Demopolis.

The project was also, like many things, temporarily derailed by Covid but it is still less than a year off schedule. The work has been going on at a steady pace, but this has become an additional problem, as Gulf Coast Underground has been doing all of its digging without a permit and has yet to appear before the City Council to inform them of its plans, leaving City officials frustrated and angry. At the City Council meeting on Monday, August 15th, many Council members expressed suspicion and annoyance at the lack of communication but it was ultimately not enough for them to vote yes on a motion made by Councilman Carlton Lewis to stop the digging. It appears that the Councilmen and Councilwoman felt that the City was in between a rock and a hard place, with the risk of uncertainty ultimately taking less precedence than the risk of jeopardizing the entire project. Unfortunately this leaves another Perry County City searching for answers, even as the questions are ripping them apart.