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Town has grant in hand for trail connections


Elmer City public works director Jimmer Tillman charts part of the "Complete Streets" project, for which the town recently won a $250,000 grant, at the corner of 3rd Street and Elmer City Access Road. A pathway along the road will help residents reach the Down River Trail at two locations. - Roger Lucas photo

You've heard it said that "the check is in the mail." Well, this one is in the hand!

That check for $250,000 arrived last week for Elmer City's "Complete Streets" project.

City Clerk Gary Benton and public works director "Jimmer" Tillman didn't waste any time in moving forward with the grant funds.

The town has three years to use the funds. Tillman said Friday the project will likely be done in 2018. The grant is from the state Department of Transportation's TIB (Transportation Improvement Board). Tillman said the Complete Streets award was one of 39 awarded throughout the state totaling some $10.5 million. The grants ranged from $125,000 to $500,000. Tillman said that Elmer City got the grant because "we had a shovel-ready project." Elmer City had submitted its plan along with its application.

The Complete Streets project will provide sidewalks connecting to trails from two locations in the town to the existing 6-mile-long Down River Trail.

The Complete Streets designation allows for multiple uses such as vehicles, walking and biking movement.

Sidewalks will connect Third Street and Front Street to the Down River Trail system, crossing Elmer City Access Road at two crosswalks to parking areas along the river.

The paved trail along Elmer City Access Road will be about three-quarters of a mile long, a drive over the area with Tillman Friday showed.

Tillman said Belsby Engineering of Spokane will do the design work on the project.

The town is already in the beginning stages of an ongoing project to go after additional funds for more sidewalks and connecting sidewalks to expand the current Complete Streets project.

Tillman and Benton spoke at a Complete Streets meeting March 8, held locally, before town and city representatives on how to apply for TIB money.

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