City likely to seek $1M sidewalk grant

The Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen is hoping the third time’s a charm as it prepares to again go after a Tennessee Department of Transportation multimodal access grant that might land it $950,000 in state funding for a $1 million sidewalk improvement project.

In Thursday’s work session, board members agreed to place the local match on the agenda for their regular session this week. While the city had put in a pre-application earlier this summer, the formal application process requires a commitment of up to $50,000 from the city, or five percent of the project’s cost. If the project were to ultimately be selected for funding by TDOT, the state match would provide 95 percent of the funding, up to $950,000.

“This grant would entail replacement of the sidewalks on the south, west and north sides of the square,” said City Administrator Scott Collins. “It’s a 95/5 match, which it’s projected to be a million-dollar project, but the city’s investment would be $50,000.”

Mayor Michael Whisenant noted that the city has twice before applied for the grant – “It’s just so worth going after,” he said, adding that the project has been a topic of discussion in finance and that it’s well worth pursuing again.

The City Board will also consider whether to apply for state grant funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program in the upcoming cycle for Phase III of the board’s Greenway/Blueway Master Plan. Phase III includes a river walk around the perimeter of Camp Blount Historic Site.

“If the board so chooses, this would be the third attempt to get funding,” said City Administrator Scott Collins. “One of the reasons we were denied funding in our most recent cycle is that we have an active project under construction right now and then Phase II is scheduled to go to bid hopefully by the end of the month.

“We have a lot of their money invested in us already, but we were encouraged to reapply for Phase III,” he said.

Also on the agenda of this week’s city meeting are the following items:

  • Hiring Community Development Partners to complete an ADA transition plan mandated by TDOT and aimed at ensuring that all city facilities and property, including sidewalks, are compliant.
  • A budget amendment of $16,000 to purchase five additional sets of turnout gear for city firefighters.
  • A presentation on the Silent Reflection Walk, which will be held Sept. 22.
  • Swearing-in and badge ceremony for Fire Chief Jim Baldwin.
  • Swearing-in for Patrolman Kyler Gentry.
  • Permits for the LCHS Homecoming Parade on Sept. 20, the Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride Sept. 21 and the Host of Christmas Past Festival Nov. 8-10.

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