Officials work on safety plan for school route

Council will ask for federal money to build sidewalks and install sewers.
McDONALD -- Village officials took a first step toward providing extra safety for pupils in kindergarten through grade eight who use a busy street to walk or ride their bicycles to school.
At Wednesday's meeting, village council passed a motion to submit a letter of interest for an application to try to obtain a portion of a 3 million federal Safe Route to School grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation.
If approved, the funds would be used to build sidewalks and install sewers on parts of McDonald and Iowa avenues as well as one side of Sixth Street, Councilman Richard Harvey noted. He was unable to provide a cost estimate for the project.
Many pupils going to and from Roosevelt Elementary School and McDonald High School walk on busy McDonald Avenue and the sidewalks will make it safer for them, Harvey said.
Pupils in kindergarten through sixth grade attend the elementary school; the high school has those in grades seven to 12.
The letter is to describe the work to be done as well as outline likely benefits, and has to be submitted to the Safe Route's coordinator by Jan. 26, Harvey said. If it's accepted, council will receive the application, which will have to be turned in by late April, he added.
The village already uses crossing guards at some intersections, and the police department runs a program promoting bicycle safety, including the use of helmets. Both could help the village in its efforts to secure the funding, Harvey predicted.
In other business, fire Chief Ed Winterbauer reported that his department recently applied for a 2,600 grant that would go toward updating the department's computer system. The updates would allow the department to conduct fire incident reporting via computer, the chief said.

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