Nearly 18 months after receiving the grant, Sedalia will soon get a second Safe Routes to School project. During Monday’s Sedalia City Council meeting, council members will vote to approve a bid for $144,441 to continue the project.
The Safe Routes to School program, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and distributed through the Missouri Department of Transportation, awards grants to qualifying areas to encourage children to walk, wheel and bicycle to school, encouraging a healthy lifestyle. In 2011, MoDot funded 16 projects totaling $3.4 million for the program.
According to Public Works Project Manager Devin Stevens, the Safe Routes to School project will build new sidewalks in a “dipper-like” area around Heber Hunt Elementary, on West Third Street, from South Park Avenue to South Warren Avenue, then down South Warren Avenue from West Third Street to West Fifth Street, then on West Fifth Street to South Barrett Avenue, and from South Barrett back to West Third Street.
“We applied for the program in 2008 but weren’t part of the first round of projects,” she said. “So we were very excited when we were granted $226,000 (in December 2010) for this project.”
Stevens said the delays in the program — from receiving the money to actually building the sidewalks - are caused by MoDot’s need to approve every step of the process.
“We had a lot of back and forth with MoDot because since this is a federal grant program and they’re distributing the money, they have sign off on everything,” she said.
Once council approves the bid and accepts an agreement with Sedalia-based Poort Excavating, construction will start.
“Assuming the bid is approved, then contracts have to be completed and approved by MoDot, so we’re not looking at actually starting the project until mid-to-late June,” Stevens said. “But once we start it’s a 90-day project, so we should be finished by the time school starts.”
Stevens said the bids came in under what was expected and any money leftover at the end of the process will be returned to the program. The first Safe Routes to School program in Sedalia built new sidewalks to Sedalia Middle School on South Ingram Avenue from East Sixth Street to East 28th Street a few years ago.
“We’d love to be able to have more Safe Routes to School sidewalks in the future,” Stevens said. “But like a lot of things the funding is drying up a bit, so we’ll keep applying for the grant and see what we can get.”
Council will also:
• Award a bid for a new radar/speed trailer for the Sedalia Police Department to replace the current outdated trailer, $7,785.
• Award a bid for a stump grinder for a skid steer loader, $5,937.40.
• Approve and accept and agreement with Midland GIS Solutions for sewer video data integration to proceed with the city’s Missouri Department of Natural Resources consent order, $14,339.
• Approve and accept a facilities use agreement between the city and the Missouri State Fairgrounds for the Fourth of July fireworks display.
• Adopt a safety manual for the city.
The city council pre-meeting will start at 6:15 p.m. in the mayor’s conference room, the regular meeting will immediately follow at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 200 S. Osage Ave. For more information, call 827-3000.