Craig City Manager Jim Ferree knows firsthand what it’s like to drive a child to Craig Middle School in the morning.
He also knows how important sidewalks could be to child safety.
“I drive there every morning,” he said. “I have a girl at the middle school and a girl at Sandrock Elementary, and there are kids everywhere.”
To help alleviate the problem of youths wandering in front of cars, the city and Moffat County School District are working together to apply for $188,905 in state grant money to build sidewalks on six streets surrounding the CMS and Sandrock campus.
The school district put the grant application together, while the city will make the formal submittal because it owns the right-of-ways where the sidewalks are planned to be built.
Local officials expect word on whether their project is approved by March, but they don’t plan to start building until about summer 2010 because of timing issues with receiving the money and the start of the next school year.
The new sidewalks discussed in the application fill in existing gaps surrounding the two schools from Breeze Street east to Russell Street, between Eighth and 10th streets.
It also adds a sidewalk along Yampa Avenue on the west side of Craig Middle School, as well as sidewalks on the south side of Ninth Street across from the schools and the north side of 10th Street east of Washington.
The money will come out of the Safe Routes to School Program, which uses federal dollars distributed by state transportation departments.
Mark Rydberg, school district finance director, said the district applied for money from the same fund last year but was denied.
However, district officials were told the local project was a strong contender, and were encouraged to reapply, Rydberg said.
Ferree said the project likely would face some tough competition, however, if only because the state has set aside about $250,000 for the Western Slope and other rural areas, and the city’s application will be for the majority of what’s available.