Public Works Director Bryson Baker said, during the City Council work session on July 12 at City Hall, that councilmen asked him to wait on sidewalk plans until the city received a response regarding various grants.
The sidewalks could be financed by the Safe Routes to School grant, traditional development grants or by Arnold taxpayers, Baker said.
Applications for traditional development grants occur in the spring, Baker said. “The engineering company working on our plans could help us through the grant process.”
The city must pay about $12,000 to make its current Tenbrook sidewalk construction plans compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For the city councilmen, who are listening to parents, Tenbrook sidewalks would solve a safety issue for children walking to school.
“Students are walking to various games and to after-school extracurricular activities,” Ward 3 Councilman Phil Amato said.
Mayor Ron Counts, who said he spoke with Fox Schools Superintendent Dianne Critchlow, said Fox Schools prefers to deal with the safety issue by having students ride the district’s buses instead of walking to school.
City and school leaders need to meet and work up the best plan if they decide to combine grants to develop sidewalks, Counts said.
Count also said that he will talk with the Fox Schools’ leadership about the sidewalk project.
Ward 3 Councilman Paul Freese said the council must remember that other sidewalks need to be built or repaired, throughout Arnold, for residents who want to walk or bike to destinations. “I’m ok looking into other grants for those projects.”
When Ward 2 Councilman Michelle Hohmeier asked about the city’s sidewalk fund, Freese said, “The sidewalk fund is not going to pay for all sidewalks.”
The fund has about $55,000, Freese said, and city could use that money to match funding received from development grants.
The council wants to determine in the August work session how much additional money will be in the sidewalk fund, if the school board will support sidewalk financing and which development grant to pursue in the Spring of 2013.