Archive for Monday, December 15, 2008

KDOT awards Tonganoxie $250,000 for Safe Routes to School Program

December 15, 2008

The Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded the City of Tonganoxie $250,000 in federal funds for the Safe Routes to School Program.

SRSP is a federally funded program that provides reimbursements to cities, counties, school districts and other entities to provide infrastructural and non-infrastructural improvements that encourage children to walk or bicycle to school more safely.

The $250,000 was the full amount Tonganoxie requested.

Tonganoxie City staff and Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, the city’s planning firm, prepared the SRTS plan, in collaboration with the Tonganoxie School District, Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce and the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission.

The federal funding will assist the city with the construction of several sidewalks and traffic-calming improvements around Tonganoxie Elementary School and Tonganoxie Middle School. In addition, the award provides funding for the first year of a School Resource Officer (SRO) position in the Tonganoxie Police Department. The SRO will also be under the supervision of the Tonganoxie Schools superintendent and will be assigned to work for the Tonganoxie School District during each school semester. In addition to other duties such as administrating and teaching the D.A.R.E program, the SRO position will be responsible for implementing strategies to implement activities of the SRTS plan related to educating and encouraging safe walking and bicycling in our community. The City and School District will be responsible for continuing funding for the SRO position after the first year.

“I am truly grateful that KDOT has provided the City of Tonganoxie the opportunity to be involved with this program,” Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal said. “I fully support the Safe Routes to School Plan and the recommended strategies and solutions that will improve the safety of our students walking and biking to and from the schools in our community.

“In addition, I feel the recommended infrastructure improvements will be a benefit to all of the citizens of our community.”

In the next few months, the City of Tonganoxie will complete agreements with KDOT and will begin implementation of the plan in 2009.

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