Children that walk to and from school every day will soon have a safer journey thanks to the city’s concentration on repaving sidewalks around the city.
Walkers around the city will soon have smoother commutes thanks to the city’s focus on repaving sidewalks around town.
It’s an effort the city has long worked toward and City Manager Bill McDaniel said while there are plenty around town that need some work, the city has been focusing on those along the routes to local schools.
“That has been our concentration,” McDaniel said. “We want to make sure they’re in place and they’re in good shape so children will have safe and easy routes on their walk to school. Then whenever I’m walking around town, like I was Sunday for the Art Box Tour, I’m always looking at the sidewalks and figuring out where there’s a need for us to step in and do some repairs.”
The city plans to put new six-inch thick and five-foot wide sidewalks in four general locations. The first will be on West Alsobrook Street from west of South Empire Street to Gibbs Street. The second is on West Bates Street from west of South Empire Street to Gibbs Street. The third is along Woodlawn Avenue from Alexander Street to North Franklin Street. The final sidewalk will run on north Barnes Street from English Street to West Cherry Street.
Originally, the city anticipated full funding of the project would be available through a CDBG grant from the Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Services Department. However, the expanse of the project ended up going over the money available via the grant. Commissioners agreed Monday night to approve supplemental funding for the project.
On Oct. 8, the city advertised the project and began to receive bids from construction companies. Blacktip Services was the lowest responsive and responsible bid, coming in at $275,225.34. The majority of that was covered in the CDBG grant, but commissioners approved allocating the remaining $25,337 toward the project so all could be wrapped up this year rather than having to push some of the work off until next year.
“We didn’t want to delay getting this work done,” McDaniel said. “It needed repaired and we are fortunate enough to have the money available to make it happen. That was, I think, the mindset all of us had. It needs to be done, we can do it, so we might as well do it now rather than wait.”
Mayor Rick Lott took a moment following the vote Monday night to highlight the project for the audience at City Hall. He said the project reflects the attitude the city has toward improving all areas of town and making sure Plant City is a great place to “work, play and live.”
“Not only are our roads getting paved, our sidewalks are, too,” Lott said. “We’re doing work all over the city to make it the best it can be.”