Iola receives $15,000 Safe Routes to School grant



November 6, 2014 - 12:00 AM

The City of Iola has received a $15,000 Safe Routes to School Phase I grant this week. Code Enforcement Officer Shonda Jefferis teamed up with USD 257 and Thrive Allen County to apply for the grant.
The Safe Routes grant is for planning purposes and helps students arrive to school by walking and bicycling safely. Created in 2005, the federal program aims to: Enable and encourage children, including those who are disabled, to walk or bicycle to school, make walking or biking to school safe and appealing and facilitate projects that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
Jefferis said the grant will help the city conduct surveys to see who is walking and riding their bikes to school. It will also help pay for a consultant to see which sidewalks are the best route to schools. Jefferis said they would like to focus on the lack of handicap accessible ramps on the city’s sidewalks.
“After the plan goes through this phase we can apply for phase II which is a bigger grant,” Jefferis said.
The second grant would be a dollar match from the city. The planning process can begin as soon as a written agreement between Kansas Department of Transportation and the city has been signed.
Chanute has received phase I and II funding in recent years.

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