Mendon receives Recovery Act money for pathway project

MENDON — A new pathway project was declared by the City Council on Oct. 8. The council discussed the finances needed as well as what needed to be done in time. The pathway is to be used for students crossing the street from the new Mountain Side Elementary School, according to Jason Wooden, council member in charge of planning and zoning. The pathway will be used as a safer detour for kids to walk home after school. It will connect 100 East St. with Highway 23. The area will cover four blocks and resemble a T. “We don’t have many sidewalks in Mendon,” said Wooden. Wooden also said that the pathway’s other purpose will be for recreation. It will serve as a comfortable walkway for activities such as bicycling and walking. It began as a state project two years ago and was on the list to receive $300,000. According to Councilman Phil Coulter, the project was on the list of “shovel-ready” projects proposed by the Obama administration. With that, the project has received needed funding, Wooden explained. “We were surprised because small towns like Mendon don’t get money like this often,” Wooden said. “We talked to some people and managed to get some through the Recovery Act.” The Recovery Act was passed in Feb. 2009 and includes money awarded to states that provide service for projects aimed at providing jobs for residents in rural areas, according to their website at recovery.gov. Through stimulus money from the administration as well as RAPZ (restaurants, arts, projects and zoos) funding from the County, the city plans to begin working on it later this fall according to Wooden. Mayor Mike Morgan said that the cost would be over $250,000. “We submitted a request to the Department of Transportation,” said Coulter. “It surprised me that we only had enough to cover four blocks.” The project will be paid for through the city which is then reimbursed by the state. The project’s designer review was last month, Coulter said. The council hopes to get most of the project done by Nov. 2, 2010. They said they want it to stretch far but do not want to spend too much on it.

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