County sends letter in support of Madison streetscape improvements
by Fred Pace
MADISON – Lots of support has been offered to the City of Madison for its upcoming streetscape improvements project and now the Boone County Commission has jumped on board.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, the commission voted unanimously to support the project by sending a letter to the West Virginia Department of Highways’ Program Planning, Grant Administration Unit.
“Currently, the City of Madison does not have the ability to fully finance the creation of a historically sensitive and pedestrian friendly downtown landscape that would encourage bicycle and pedestrian routes for residents and visitors,” the letter says. “The City has received the 1st phase of the grant, which will take care of half of Main Street starting this spring. As a result, the application of the City for the 2nd phase has our utmost support, and we hope you will give it every consideration for funding.”
The $200,000 Main Street “Streetscape 2012” grant was awarded to the City of Madison by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin a few months ago. It will mean new handicapped accessible sidewalks for Main Street, new street lights, landscaping and garbage receptacles.
The first phase will be from Spa Envy to Masonic Lodge.
Several businesses and individuals have written the state Department of Highways’ Program Planning, Grant Administration Unit to show support for the grant application for the second phase of the project from the lodge down to Josephine Avenue.
This grant will assist with the reconstruction of sidewalks, crosswalks and other amenities such as signage and brick accents along Main Street.
The West Virginia Transportation Enhancement Grant Program is a federal-aid program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. The program provides annual funding, through the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation, to West Virginia communities for non-traditional transportation projects such as improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists through the construction of sidewalks and trails, acquisition of scenic or historic sites, preserving historic resources and stimulating tourism development.
In other county commission news:
• County officials will meet as part of the grant application process for the West Virginia Division of Criminal Justice and Community Service to discuss court security needs and grant funding. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 2 p.m. in the county commission meeting room of the new judicial annex building located behind the Boone County Courthouse.
• Larry Greene reported an adjustment on the county’s regional jail bill for the month of January, bringing the total bill for the month to $64,708.80.
• James Gore, county administrator, received approval from the commission for Jerry Swanson’s Probation Office to purchase a new office chair at a cost of $186.96. The commission also approved the purchase of police lights for a new Sheriff’s Department vehicle at a cost of $4,665.
• The commission also approved funding for an ASA ball field grant in the amount of $9,480.
• The commission approved the county clerk’s request for $4,160 to hire Cott System Indexing to put more of the county’s public records into its new digital computerized systems.
• Terry Martin of the Regional Infrastructure Council reported to the commission that opening bids for the Mud River/Cox’s Fork water and sewer project will be opened at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, 2012. Martin also reported that $250,000 of grant money is left over from the Turtle Creek project and he is seeking permission to use the left over funding towards a project that would serve 14 to 15 potential customers at the end of Six Mile. The commission was also given reports on the Easter Hollow and Morrisvale/Cameo projects. The commission has committed some funding towards these projects, but must now wait until it sees what its next coal severance check will be. “I don’t think most people realize how long a water and sewer project can take for it to come to fruition,” said Boone County Commissioner Atholl Halstead. “It can take several years. We must wait and see what our coal severance check is going to be. I am not trying to alarm anyone, but it will not be like it used to be.” Commission President Mickey Brown said the county should know within the next six months.
• In a previous county commission meeting, an update from Scotty Powell, Community Service Supervisor for the southwestern Regional Day Report Center’s Boone Satellite Office was given regarding community service for 2012. The update was on the total of community service provided by the day report and drug court clients for the 2012 year. They had a total of 12,741 hours of community service. If that service was paid at minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour, it would have cost the county $92,372.25 for the year. Powell said the Day Report Center takes great pride knowing that it can be of assistance to Boone County with their work.
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