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Morning Sun
  • City gets state grant for new trail

  • When the city gets good news, often officials don't like to wait through the process of getting on the official city commission agenda. That's why it's often good to stay for the nonagenda reports and requests at Pittsburg City Commission meetings.

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  • When the city gets good news, often officials don't like to wait through the process of getting on the official city commission agenda. That's why it's often good to stay for the nonagenda reports and requests at Pittsburg City Commission meetings.
    That was the case Tuesday night, when assistant public works director Troy Graham took to the podium to inform commissioners that the city had been awarded a state Transportation Enhancement grant.
    Throughout the state, 35 projects worth close to $17.9 million were selected through the program, to help historical projects, scenic and environmental projects, and pedestrian/bicycle projects. More than 91 projects had been submitted, worth a total of $63 million.
    Officially, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced those who had received these grants, and Pittsburg was lucky enough to be on the list.
    “A few months ago, we talked about a grant with KDOT for a hike and bike trail to connect the Watco Trail with the east side of the city,” Graham told the commissioners on Tuesday. “We have received about $730,000 in a grant to work on that trail. It will start at the Watco Trail, and head east from the stadium. It will cut through and down Michigan, then through Schlanger.”
    Graham explained to commissioners that the project, at the direction of KDOT, had been split into three phases. The first phase was east from the existing Watco Trail, then south along Michigan Street to the railroad tracks at Seventh Street. The second phase would swing the trail through Schlanger Park. The third phase would connect from Schlanger Park all the way to Fourth and Water streets.
    Of course, there will be costs to the City of Pittsburg. Specifically, Graham mentioned that the city would face roughly $150,000-$200,000 in matching costs.
    “We’re confidently looking at private donations to help with that cost,” Graham said.
    Further, Graham said that there would likely be another round of funding in 2014, and that he would submit for Phase III funding that year.
    Commissioners were pleased by the announcement.
    “This is a wonderful project,” said Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan. “It’s on all our agendas, and is moving the city along.”
     
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