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Grant to provide safe routes to school

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By Sharon Graves

By SHARON GRAVES

The News-Democrat

Connecting all four Carroll County schools by a continuous sidewalk system is $247,000 closer to reality with a recent grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The Transportation Cabinet released the names of five city and county entities that will share a total of $1.3 million for sidewalk improvements, new streetscapes, and pedestrian-path and bike-trail improvements in Northern Kentucky.

The city of Carrollton was included in the mix, in line to receive the funding for the construction of sidewalks that will connect the Carroll County High School, Middle School, Cartmell Elementary and Kathryn Winn Primary schools, Mayor Dwight Louden said.

“We will add sidewalks along Polk Street, [which] doesn’t currently have sidewalks, and the Polk Street extension that will go all the way to Highway 227,” Louden said, adding that sidewalks along the Polk Street extension will connect the high school and Cartmell, east of 227, with the other two schools in town.

“We budgeted $100,000 to start this project and then applied for a loan from the Kentucky League of Cities for $300,000 that has been approved,” Louden said. “The TE grant is an 80/20 matching grant, meaning we have to come up with 20 percent of the cost, but the $400,000 available will meet that demand easily. We have three years to spend the money from the grant.”

The city had applied for a grant under the federal Safe Routes to School Program, but was told there wasn’t enough money available for all the projects submitted, Louden said.

But the grant application was so strong, the transportation cabinet agreed to fund it, said Joan Moore, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation.  

“We wouldn’t have received this grant without the strong partnership of many groups in the area,” Moore said.  “We also incorporated the five E’s of engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement and evaluation in our grant application, which was another reason we received the grant.”

“There will be no ceremonial check presentation,” Moore said.

Partners named in the grant application are the Succeeding Nutritionally and Physically [SNAP] coalition, which originated with the Carroll County Extension Service; the Jefferson Community and Technical College [JCTC] nursing students; the Carroll County Health Department; the Carrollton Police Department; and the Carroll County School District.  

The SNAP Coalition and the health department are planning several educational programs to teach children about healthy eating and exercise, along with safe walking and biking practices, Moore said.  

“The police department will be setting up their portable speed-minder device once the sidewalks are in place to make sure cars slow down, so it really is a safe route to school,” Moore said.  

The JCTC nursing program will be evaluating the success of the new program next fall, Moore said.