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City To Install Sidewalks Near Discovery Elementary School

The city's public works department steps up to pay for the project when grant money falls through.

The St. Charles City Council introduced a bill to acquire land for the new sidewalks along Discovery Elementary at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Superintendent for Orchard Farm School District Dan Dozier said he believes more children would walk to school if they had a safe way to get there.

The school is required to provide a bus route to children living more than 3 miles away from the school. Discovery does not have to provide transportation to kids living within a mile of the school.

For those children living between one and three miles, the district may choose whether or not to provide a bus.

Dozier said the state has been cutting funding for transportation costs for schools throughout the past few years. He said the district is providing an alternative by constructing the sidewalks.

“Funds continue to be cut in those areas, yet the district still has to provide transportation for people living in those areas,” Dozier said.

Public Works Project Manager Brian Temme said money for the project will be coming out of the city’s public works budget.

Temme said the city applied for a “Safe Routes to School” grant to help pay for the project, but did not receive the grant.

The “Safe Routes to School” grant works to give more access to student walkers and bikers around schools.

Temme said the grant process is somewhat competitive.

“I think it was mostly so many more applications than funds to hand out,” Temme said.

Temme said they are in the early planning stages of the project, but he expects construction will begin by at least the start of 2013.

He said the project should be completed six to eight months after construction starts.

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