Grayson Sidewalk Project: by ROGER DUNFEE

The City of Grayson Emergency Management Agency received information through FIVCO from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that money was available to cities with populations of less than 5,000 for pedestrian walkways, bicycling paths, and roadways as long as they were along state roadways.

City EM had already been working on a long-rangeplan to improve some of the city sidewalks, but this was an unexpected surprise. The grant is called the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and it provides 80% funding for projects that qualify. 

For over a month, EM worked on the grant application then submitted it and waited anxiously for the results. We decided our project that would best benefit the city would be a 5’ wide sidewalk from Prichard Elementary to the entrance of the new Grayson area sports park. Some sidewalks already exist on that route but are in poor shape and no sidewalk exists for about 75% of the route. Existing sidewalks would be replaced and new construction would complete the route. 

 Not only would a modern sidewalk encourage walking to the new sports park, two Carter County schools would be connected and a safer means for children to walk to school would be available. An engineering cost estimate was done on the proposal, and it was estimated that it would take nearly $500,000 to construct as there are some challenging areas along the route. 

EM requested the 80% funding from the TAP program ($398,000). After several weeks of the Transportation Cabinet reviewing all grant applications, City EM received confirmation that our application had been accepted. We must now wait for a State contract and other official documents before we can actually begin moving forward. After receiving the state go-ahead, we must secure a detailed engineering study or blueprint of the project, secure contractor bids, and begin the work. 

 We were informed that completion of the project may take well over a year but we feel confident that this project will be well worth the wait. Mayor Steele and the Grayson City Council have been on-board and supported the project from the beginning. The city will have to come up with the 20% match and have indicated that they would probably seek a bank loan for that amount. 

City EM is always looking for ways to benefit the citizens of Grayson.