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TCU is awarded Safe Routes to School grant
Creating and identifying safe routes to school for students in the Tri-City United District, including Most Holy Redeemer, became closer to reality after the district was awarded a grant to study and plan safe routes.
The letter from the Minnesota Department of Transportation did not specify the dollar amount, however it indicated that the grant will be used to plan safe routes to schools in Montgomery, Lonsdale and Le Center.
According to information that TCU Superintendent Matt Helgerson shared with the school board at its meeting on Monday, April 8, the planning assistance will be provided by the Region Nine Development Commission. Plans call for the creation of a local Safe Routes to School team which will seek local input, information and creation of a plan. The team should include school principals or assistant principals, parents, community volunteers, students, teachers, law enforcement officers, and local road authority (department of public works, county engineer... etc.).
The team will examine and assess existing policies, walking and bicycling zones, school properties, street profiles, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, “remedial” pedestrian and bicycle facilities, connectivity and convenience.
Both parents and students will be surveyed, and neighborhood meetings will be held. The plan should be finalized by May, 2014.
Helgerson, who worked with City Administrator Steve Helget, called it a, “great first step in trying to get this off the ground for several years.”
He emphasized that this was a planning grant and that the district would have to apply to implement the plan.
Board member Marsha Franek asked if TCU would also be receiving the second grant.
Helgerson responded because TCU received this grant and will do the proper planning, it will make the district look good to the state.
“Our chances are pretty good, but it’s not 100 percent,” he said.