City holds public meeting for Safe Routes to School grant
Published 10:36 am Friday, January 9, 2015
If a Safe Routes to Schools Grant is approved, students at West Side Elementary may find their way to school lined with improved crosswalks, accessible sidewalks and signs alerting motorists that pedestrians are in the area.
Officials with the City of Elizabethton and the Elizabethton City School system hosted a public meeting Thursday evening to share information on the grant process and the proposed project with the public.
With the grant, new crosswalks, accessible and unobstructed sidewalks, accessible curb cuts and improved signage would be installed at three possible intersections on West G Street — at South Roan Street, Holly Lane and Hunter Avenue.
Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said the maximum amount for the grant is $250,000. If the city wins the grant, he said work would start at Hunter Avenue, targeting West Side Elementary, and move east to the other intersections until funding runs out.
Hartman said because the grant is funded by federal money, it is also required that the sidewalks from the intersection to the school also are accessible and safe.
“The purpose of the grant is to ensure students have a safe route to school,” he said. ECS Director of Coordinated School Health Regina Wilder said if the grant is received 10 percent of the funding had to be used for “education and encouragement.”
“We also have to have programs in place, like Walk to School Day, or pedestrian and bicycling safety programs, to encourage people to use the sidewalks to walk to school,” she said.
If funding allows, the grant will extend beyond West Side Elementary to T.A. Dugger Junior High School. Wilder said the grant is specific to kindergarten through 8th grade students, which is why Elizabethton High School was not included in the application.
The application deadline for the grant is next Thursday.