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McKenzie awarded $150K grant

Students in the Town of McKenzie will find it a little bit easier and safer to walk to school in the upcoming year thanks to a $150,000 Alabama’s Safe Routes to School Program grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“It pays for construction of sidewalks to enable kids to walk and bike to school,” said Cara Stallman, grant consultant with Grant Management, LLC, who wrote the grant.

The grant is designed to provide safe sidewalks in the community for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“SRTS helps communities promote the health benefits associated with walking, biking and exercising by providing funding to improve pedestrian conditions around schools,” according to a press release issued by the ALDOT.

McKenzie will not be required to provide any match with the grant, and as far as the actual location and construction of the project, Stallman said there will be more meetings in the near future to determine the location.

“We had to work with the school, and the teachers had to a tally and figure out how many kids walked and biked so the data to could determine, once the sidewalk is built, how many people will use it,” Stallman said.

ALDOT will be responsible for designing the sidewalk and managing the contract with McKenzie.

“It’s just a little project that helps little towns like McKenzie that has a school in the center of it,” Stallman said.