Sugar Grove needs an adequate system of sidewalks to allow children to travel to school safely, village officials said. To help pay for it, trustees decided Nov. 6 to apply for a grant of up to $200,000.
The federal grant from the Safe Routes to School program is administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation to encourage children to walk or bike to school by offering financial assistance with infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements in school areas.
If the village receives the grant, it will use the funds to install sidewalks near Kaneland John Shields Elementary School along Grove Street, West Street and Calkins Drive where no sidewalks currently exist. For those installations, the village needs the maximum grant amount of $200,000, said Anthony Speciale, director of public works.
The full grant would cover 100 percent of construction engineering and construction, but not the initial engineering costs in Phase I of the planned project. For those costs, the Village Board on Nov. 6 approved an expenditure of $32,815 for Phase I engineering by Engineering Enterprises, Inc. The company will provide project scoping, data collection, IDOT and school district coordination, and other engineering services.
The Safe Route to Schools funding is administered as a reimbursement grant, so the village will need to put forth the initial funds for the project and submit for payment from IDOT as invoices are paid.
Village officials said the sidewalk project would improve travel and provide off-street access for pedestrians throughout the village from schools and residential areas.