Sidewalk grant app on go

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Council votes to pursue funding for AHS project

The Andalusia City Council will pursue grant funding for sidewalk project that will “put a bow on” the ongoing $12.5 million in renovations at Andalusia High School.

Troy Hudson and Gabby Sanders of Southern Engineering Solutions showed preliminary drawings to the council in November when they proposed pursuing a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant.

Sanders said the project is designed with six-foot wide sidewalks around the perimeter of the campus, including Third Street, 1st Avenue, Henderson Strret and 4th Avenue. The estimated length is just over a mile.

The project would also widen Coleman Avenue to Henderson Street, adding brick sidewalks on either side, and create a main entrance to the campus from the bypass.

Lampposts similar to those downtown also are included in the project.

The council declined to pursue the grant in November, but changed course yesterday.

“At the time that we looked at it (in November), our share was more than council wanted to put on the project at that time,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “After that, engineers called us a couple of weeks ago. DOT had extended the deadline on filing, basically because they did not get enough applications. They upped the project amount and increased their portion. As a resultt of some other matters, will reduce what we have to come up with to about $135,000.”

The total project is projected at more than $800.

Johnson said the city expects to have more than $70,000 in matching funds it had set aside for the South Three Notch project that it can set aside for the sidewalk project. It will be two to two and a half years before the city will have to fund the project, he said.

“It’s a no-brainer to me,” he said. “This would be a huge improvement to that neighborhood, and would attract people who would reinvest and rebuild that neighborhood.”

The council voted unanimously to pursue the funding.