KDOT selects Tonganoxie trails project for transportation enhancement grant
The Kansas Department of Transportation announced Monday a Tonganoxie trail project was among the 18 transportation enhancement applications selected for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.
The city’s application was for the second phase of the Chieftain Trail and would extend the current 10-foot wide pedestrian/bicycle trail from the VFW along Tonganoxie Drive to Laming Road and then east to the new post office.
“It would get the kids under the highway,” City Clerk Kathy Bard said of the trail’s benefit.
The city’s required 20 percent local match of $200,000 was included in the 2011 budget the Tonganoxie City Council approved Monday. Bard explained the money was included so that the council could make a decision should the grant be approved.
The grant only pays for construction. In addition to its match, the city is responsible for design, easement and any utility relocation. Bard said the project required no easement acquisition.
City Administrator Mike Yanez told the council Monday the grant would be on the council’s Aug. 25 agenda. There were still questions to be answered, including when the grant money would be available and even if it would. KDOT said the federal money wasn’t guaranteed.
There is also some question whether the council would appprove the match. Councilman Tom Putthoff said he did not want to spend the money of a trail when the city had so many street repair and upgrade needs.
Moreover, Putthoff and Councilman Burdel Welsh said they weren’t interested in hearing city engineering consultant Dan Harden’s presentation on a similar 80/20 grant opportunity for multi-use pathways available through the Mid-America Regional Council because the city couldn’t afford the match.
However, other council members were interested in what might be available, and it was agreed to have BG Consultants make grant applications for a Washington pathway for Church Street to Genesis Christian Academy and a Church Street pathway connecting Washington and 4th streets.
Harden candidly admitted MARC favors large projects and small cities like Tonganoxie seldom win grants.