Johnstown Independent

Safe Routes to School

Johnstown's sidewalks nearing completion

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Soon Johnstown residents will truly be able to walk the walk.

Village Manager Jim Lenner said he expects nearly a mile of new sidewalks to be completed by Oct. 31.

"It's going quick. I can't complain," Lenner said.

The sidewalk project is part of the Ohio Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School grant. Lenner said the village received $250,000 for construction of new and reconstruction of deteriorated sidewalks in Johnstown.

"The bulk of the project involves a new 5-feet-wide sidewalk from Westview Drive to Benedict Drive," he said.

Sidewalks also are being installed to close gaps in the existing sidewalk system.

"There are little pieces here and there," Lenner said.

He said Johnstown is contributing up to $10,000 for the project, mainly to cover engineering and change-order expenses.

According to the ODOT website, the goal of Ohio's Safe Routes to School program is to assist communities in developing and implementing projects and programs that encourage and enable children in grades K-8, including those with disabilities, to walk or bike to school safely.

"There are always some hiccups, but I'm happy to see the project come about," Mayor Sean Staneart said. "It's a great value -- $10,000 for $250,000. It was definitely needed along (U.S. Route 62) in a major way."

Staneart said he believes another round of Safe Routes to School funding might become available, and if it does, the village would apply.

In other village news, in clarification, Johnstown Village Council President David Keck said the Johnstown version of the Sister Cities program, in which the village will team with the Ohio communities of Canal Winchester and Chardon, has no relationship with the federal government's Sister Cities program and is solely initiated among the three municipalities.

Representatives from those communities will create professional relationships to exchange information and offer each other advice when needed. A previous story incorrectly implied that Johnstown's Sister Cities program is being operated in affiliation with the federal Sister Cities program.

Nearly a mile of new sidewalks in Johnstown should be completed by Oct. 31, thanks in part to a Safe Routes to School grant. Photo courtesy of the village of Johnstown

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