After being turned down twice, the City of Wheaton persevered, and this year, was awarded a grant that will fund construction of a new sidewalk linking the school and city park.
Wheaton was one of only 16 projects funded in the 11-county Missouri Department of Trans-portation's Southwest District. The funds are allocated through the federal government's Transportation Enhancement Program.
According to Wheaton City Clerk Marianne Witt, the city was awarded a $112,248.45 grant for construction of the McCall/Barnett sidewalk. Under the grant program, the city will be required to provide a 21 percent match.
City council members will officially vote at their Oct. 4 meeting to allocate $23,500.71 in funds for the project. Witt said she expects the match to come from the city's general revenue fund.
"We're so excited about this, especially with the Centennial coming up," said Witt. "It couldn't have happened at a better time for the city."
The city is planning to construct a new sidewalk starting at the school at McCall Street and extending down Main Street for one block and then running north beside the park to Barnett Street. In all, the project will include 870 feet of new sidewalk
The first step in getting the project underway involves selecting an engineering firm to design the sidewalk. Once an engineer has been chosen, the project will proceed to the bid phase.
Witt said she hopes to see the sidewalk completed by May of 2007. The city will be celebrating its centennial in July of 2007.
"Our goal is to get the project done before the Centennial," Witt added.
Other successful grant applicants included the cities of Adrian, Carl Junction, Carthage, Joplin, Lockwood, Noel, Oronogo, Osceola, Pineville, Walker and Webb City and Jasper County.
The Transportation Enhancement Program is federally funded and includes 12 eligible transportation-related activities. Some of these include: transportation facilities for pedestrians and bicycles; preservation of abandoned railroad corridors; scenic or historic highway projects; landscaping and other scenic beautification; rehabilitation of historic transportation buildings; and establishment of transportation museums.
For more information on the Transportation Enhancement Program, contact Eric Kellstadt at 1-800-654-5428.