The Glen Rose City Council committed to pursuing a Safe Routes to School/Transportation Alternative set-aside project for construction of new sidewalks to benefit GRISD children who walk to school.
City Council members Chris Bryant, Jack Johnson, Rhonda Hawthorne and Johnny Martin all voted for the resolution, which is dependent on getting at least partial grant money funded from the Texas Department of Transportation. Council member Julia Douglas did not attend the meeting.
Glen Rose City Administrator Michael Leamons told the council that the city has applied for two potential TxDOT grants. One would be funded 100 percent by TxDOT. The other would provide 70 to 80 percent of the funding through TxDOT, and the city would be required to pay the remaining amount.
Leamons said the project, if implemented, will enhance the safety of children walking to school. He said there are some key spots on common walking paths near the three school campuses that are without sidewalks, forcing children in some cases to walk in the street.
Other locations targeted for new sidewalks in the planned project include Mary Lynn Street, Live Oak and a segment on U.S. Highway 67.
“It provides sidewalks so kids don’t have to walk on the street. I think it definitely will enhance safety, so I think it’s a good thing for the school children,” Leamons said, noting that it is a $1 million project with $300,000 budgeted for matching funds.
“It is a joint effort of the city, county and the school district. It is expected that we will be sharing matching funds.”
The city has enlisted Traylor & Associates of Tyler to be the administrator of the grant application as well as the grant money, if it is secured.
“Our kids don’t need to walk in the path of traffic, but they do need their own sidewalk,” Wesley Traylor, representing Traylor & Associates, told the council members when he took the podium to answer questions about the project.
There is no specific time frame for any decision from TxDOT on the grant, other than it should be later this year.
Leamons said that the city pursued a similar sidewalk funding grant in 2010, but the project did not get funding at that time.
The City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 26, starting off with a public hearing on the proposed 2019-2020 budget as well as the proposed tax rate.
Leamons said that the tax rate of .384074 cents per $100 of property evaluation remains the same as before.
“It does raise more money than last year, because the evaluations on property have gone up,” Leamons told council members Monday.
Before that, on Aug. 20 starting at 5:30 p.m., the council has scheduled a special meeting to discuss bids on insurance, a street project, and a real estate transaction, Leamons said.