Opp gets $215K in grants

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The city of Opp has been awarded $156,000 in sidewalk grants, officials announced at Monday night’s council meeting.

Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar said the money comes from a Safe Routes to School grant, which gives away money earmarked for sidewalks to and from schools.

Edgar said the goal is to place sidewalks from Opp Elementary School to the hospital.

“This won’t be enough money to bring it all the way to town,” he said. “But we hope to apply for funding the next cycle to get as far as we can.”

The Safe Routes to School program’s concept is to increase the number of children who walk or bicycle to school by funding projects to remove the barriers such as lack of infrastructure, an unsafe infrastructure, or the lack of programs that promote walking and bicycling through education or encouragement programs aimed at children, parents and the community, that would prevent students from doing so.

The funds will be administered through the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Edgar said the engineers – DMD  — are handling the grants and are in the process of getting all the specs together.

“I’ve asked them to get things together so we can let the bids for the projects within the next 60 days,” Edgar said.

The city’s utilities board was also awarded a $59,000 grant for a new generator at the south lagoon.

Edgar also said he hopes the city will be chosen in the second round of Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP)  funding. Gov. Robert Bentley announced the cities and counties which made the first round cut last week in the program being funded by a state bond issue. Cities and counties are required to contribute 20 percent toward submitted projects.

“We’ve requested $1 million,” he said. “We hope to repave Barnes Street and Hwy. 84 W with the money.”