Some of the sidewalks around Tyrone may be getting fixed up in the near future, as Tyrone's town council has committed to spend $19,853 in order to obtain an additional $66,000 in eligible Georgia Department of Transportation grant money. In total, about $80,000 will be spend toward storm water repair projects as well as sidewalk repairs.
At last Thursday's town council meeting, interim town manager Branden Perkins informed the mayor and council that the town was eligible for $66,00 DOT grant money. In order to get the funds, though, the town would have to match 30%, or nearly $20,000.
With nearly $80,000 to spend on repairs, Perkins explained that it would be necessary to explore new projects not already on the town's agenda. The most logical project that the grant would pay for, he said, is sidewalk repairs. Perkins said the idea came up to add $42,000 in sidewalk repairs to the $43,500 budgeted for thirteen storm water projects in order to make full use of the grant money.
"A couple months ago a discussion came up about the sidewalk infrastructure. Why not do sidewalks the same way we do storm water? Meaning have an ongoing list and every year chip away at that list," Perkins told the council.
Perkins said he and town staff when through town to do an "inventory of our sidewalk structure; there are quire a few projects there that qualify. Buckling sidewalks, plus several issues in the Southampton subdivision. Long story short, there are nineteen sections of curbing and sidewalks needing attention."
Perkins added that sidewalk repairs would probably be prioritized on the basis of safety, with consideration for walkers and bike riders.
Councilman Gloria Furr wondered whether it would be better to attend to sidewalks on major roads in town rather than in neighborhoods like Southampton. Perkins said the list of potential projects had been made as after a simple look around town by staff and could be changed. He recommended that council pay the town's engineer to do some cost estimates for the sidewalk improvements and then decide on how to prioritize those projects later. Council voted unanimously to do so.
New town manager Kyle Hood, recently hired, was in attendance at the meeting and commented on the vote, "with respect to the work done I think you've made a wise decision to not specify specific sidewalk projects."