Commissioners approve two pedestrian grants
The Newton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved two pedestrian-friendly grants Tuesday night, one for a trail in Porterdale, the other for sidewalks and street crossings to allow students to walk or bike to school.
The county is seeking $100,000 from the Department of Natural Resources to build a 2,000-foot-section of trail up Hemlock Alley from the Porterdale Depot to a trail loop at Yellow River Park. The trail will also connect to Turkey Creek trail, which will be built in 2011 from Turner Lake Park to Porterdale.
The county and Porterdale would each contribute $12,500, or in-kind services to the project, according to a memo from Cheryl Delk, county special projects coordinator. Porterdale would assume maintenance for the trail. If the county paid cash, the money would come from the general fund, Administrative Assistant John Middleton said.
Also Tuesday, Kathy Garber, grant coordinator for the Newton County School System, presented a $316,700 grant application for the federal Safe Routes to School program. No local money would have to be contributed.
The program encourages children to walk or bike to school. That would curb obesity and reduce pollution and busing costs for their schools.
The grant would be used to build 14,460 feet of
sidewalks, 15 pedestrian crossings, three in-road warning light system crosswalks, five 20-bike bicycle racks and six stop-for-pedestrian signs.
The infrastructure would be placed on Brown Bridge Road for students at West Newton Elementary and Veterans Memorial Middle schools; Fairview Road for students at Fairview Elementary and Clements Middle schools; and Kirkland Road for students at Live Oak Elementary School. The roads have a high-traffic volume and are dangerous to cross. A large number of students live within two miles of the schools.
Grant recipients will be announced in March, with one awarded in each U.S. Congressional District. Newton County is in the Eighth Congressional District.
Also Tuesday, the board approved a request from the Newton County Fire Department to sell an old fire truck, with an estimated value of $7,500. The 1995 truck will be sold on govdeals.com.