Part of the $246,600 in grant money will be used to install a pedestrian crossing light in front of the Trigg County campus, and the largest amount will be used to construct new sidewalks and curbs.
Cindy Sholar, the director for Renaissance on Main, said she received a notice from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in early February telling her she could apply for a grant for the Safe Routes to School Program. Sholar said the program was intended to promote a “walkable community” and to promote health and fitness by encouraging children living close to the school to walk or ride bikes.
The Safe Routes to School Program is part of a larger federal program known as SAFTEA-LU (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users), which was signed into law in August. The Safe Routes to School Program is supposed to be funded at $612 million over five federal fiscal years, from 2005 to 2009. The program is administered by the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety.
Sholar said the prospect of applying for the grant excited her because Renaissance on Main usually only has opportunities to use grants to help with the downtown area. She said that the schools will benefit greatly from the grant because of the heavy flow of traffic through the school zone. She said traffic safety at the schools had been a concern of many parents, teachers and administrators for years. She said Pam Metts at the John L. Street Library had been worried that kids might be in danger of being hit on their way to after-school programs at the library, for example.
Mayor Lyn Bailey said that when Sholar told him about the project, he encouraged her to talk to Superintendent Tim McGinnis to see if it would be something they would be interested in. With the Board of Education’s blessing, Sholar proceeded with the application process.
The maximum amount of grant money the city could apply for was $250,000, so Sholar and Bailey said they were pleased that they were approved for so much.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.