Commissioners approve sidewalk application for Charter Oak Elementary; funding still unknown

Photo shows Charter Oak Road to the west and the proposed future site of a sidewalk to Douglas Blvd. Photo courtesy of Kathy Hayes.

Commissioners approve sidewalk application for Charter Oak Elementary; funding still unknown

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The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a sidewalk application grant that would install a walk way for the newly built school in southern Logan County. However, the BOCC in the future will need to decide how to pay for the project.

“Construction of the proposed sidewalks crosswalks would be a tremendous asset to the approximate 400 students attending this site,” Superintendent of Guthrie Public Schools Dr. Mike Simpson said.

In the November 20 regular scheduled meeting, commissioners needed over 14 minutes to discuss the Safe Routes to Schools TAP project for Charter Oak Elementary, which is located east of the intersection of Charter Oak Road and Douglas Blvd.

The existing typical section for Charter Oak Road is an asphalt open section with no shoulders.

According to the project application, nearly 25 percent of the students live within the 1.5-mile radius “no ride zone”, meaning they are not eligible for riding the bus.

Despite the existing conditions and absence of sidewalks, many families within the no ride zone do not have other options available to them and must walk or bike to school.

The project calls for approximately a half-mile of 5-foot sidewalk on the north side of Charter Oak Road from Douglas Boulevard extending east to Charter Oak Elementary.

Four pedestrian crossings would also be included at the Charter Oak Road and Douglas Boulevard intersection.

Modifications to this intersection would also include LED flashing stop signs and pedestrian crossing signs. On the northeast corner of the Charter Oak Road and Douglas Boulevard intersection, there is a short segment (160-feet) that would require a retaining wall as well as the relocation of one overhead utility pole. The addition of flashing school zone signs with reduced speed limits and school zone pavement markings would also be added along Charter Oak Road in the vicinity of the school to enhance safety in the area of Charter Oak Elementary.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $463,683.95.

The 80-20 match grant leaves the BOCC with a total responsibility of $122,736.69 (including $20,000 for utility relocation and $10,000 for right-of-way).

District 2 Commissioner Mike Pearson suggested the 20 percent match ($92,736.69) could be matched with County Bridge and Road Improvement (CBRI) and the remainder with either county sales tax dollars or the maintenance and operations.

“I don’t mind supporting this, but when it comes down to the 20 percent match, we will have to come back to discuss the CBRI,” District 3 Commissioner Monty Piearcy said.

“That’s correct,” Pearson said. “Regardless, we will just have to deal with it.”

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