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Grant to provide sidewalks in city

Brookhaven has received a grant to install more sidewalks around Alexander Junior High, creating a safer walking corridor to the school for students.

Mayor Les Bumgarner announced the news during Tuesday evening’s city board meeting.

The grant will provide up to $100,000 with the city providing a minimum match of 20 percent on top of that, said WGK’s Mike McKenzie, the project engineer.

The grant application proposed adding about 1.3 miles of sidewalks and requested the grant maximum of $250,000.

The grant application also called for the addition of handicapped ramps or painted crosswalks at needed points within the vicinity of Alexander Junior High.

However, given the city was awarded less than half the requested amount, the project will probably have to be scaled back some.

Available funds will cover a little more than half a mile of sidewalks, McKenzie said.

The application called for sidewalk additions and renovations on stretches of South Washington Street, Center Street, Turner Street, East Chickasaw Street, East Cherokee Street, Grenn Street and Hamilton Street.

It currently remains unclear which streets will actually benefit from the grant.

“We’ll have to sit down, look at it again and decide, this is all the money we’ve got, where is it best spent,” McKenzie said.

The grant application does identify Turner Street and Grenn Street priority streets.

Though the project must be activated within 90 days, actual installation of the sidewalks may not be imminent.

“I don’t know that you’ll actually see any concrete on the ground this calendar year,” the engineer said. “It might actually be next spring before you see any construction.”

Alderman at Large Karen Sullivan had completed the grant along with Brookhaven School District Transportation Director Eric Stokes and the city’s engineering firm WGK.

“I had been pretty confident, I really had,” Sullivan said. “You jump through hoops to get those grants and it takes a lot of work.”