January 15, 2014 10:05:25 AM
Some West Point school children will soon be able to walk to class on new sidewalks.
During its meeting Tuesday, the city's board of selectmen contracted local engineering firm Calvert-Spradling to oversee inspection and construction of sidewalks that will be funded through the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School grant program. The firm will look at already specified sites -- which include East Street, Travis Street, Fifth Street and Sixth Street among others -- and provide the city with a construction cost estimate. The city will then advertise for construction bids.
Mayor Robbie Robinson said the city was awarded the grant "several years back" and is in the process of implementing it.
"It will encourage kids to walk to school," Robinson said. "There are several areas around our school, especially Central School and Fifth Street that need sidewalks to keep our kids safe when they walk to school. It's really going to benefit our neighborhoods."
He added that the grant also pays for helmets that can be distributed to children who ride bikes to school.
Chief administrative officer Randy Jones said some preliminary work, including removal and relocation of utility poles, will need to be done before the city can advertise for bids.
Robinson hopes to have the sidewalks in place by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
Starkville had sidewalks installed last year after a local non-profit organization there was awarded Safe Routes to School funding.
In other business, the board:
■ Appointed Maxine Shotwell, Ken Fowler, Keith Holton and John Kent to the city's planning commission;
■ Re-appointed Sharelle Drake to the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the City of West Point;
■ Appointed selectman William Binder to the West Point Growth Alliance Board;
■ Appointed Percy Jones, Bettye Swift and Hubert Caston to the city's election commission;
■ Approved a resolution in support of the Citizens for Development Act;
■ Terminated the employment of water and light department employee Rhonda Hibbler and promoted temporary full-time employee Pam Worley to a permanent full-time position in executive session;
■ Accepted the resignation of police officers Scotty Bradley and Carl Lampton.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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