Athens Applies For Safe Routes Grants

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Athens City Council revealed this week that the city has applied again for federal funds to improve sidewalks and roads as a part of the Safe Routes to Schools program.

The program was established to aid communities in improving the pathways children take to school.

New funds will be targeted at improving routes for students at Athens Middle School.

Athens Project Manager Jessica Adine says officials are in the planning stages of the application process.

"We are working on the application now, it's due March 1. We met with the city planner and the business manager for Athens City Schools," said Adine.

The programs has previously funded new staircases and sidewalks aimed to aid students at East and West Elementary Schools.

"We did a school travel plan in 2009 that prioritized areas to focus on to provide safe routes to schools. Since then, we've been applying for funds for infrastructure improvement projects. We've actually received funds in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012," said Adine.

The council will be notified May 1 if the city is granted funding from the program once more.

If the application is approved, Adine says she does not expect new construction to begin until summer 2014.