Kenbridge no longer wants grant

Published 4:04 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kenbridge has long coddled its Safe Routes to School grant hoping to eventually do some intersection improvements.

But now town council has decided that not only does it not want the grant, but Mayor Emory Hodges called it “a total waste of money.”

Instead, Hodges said, he’d rather the town be able to put the money toward sewer line improvements.

Ostensibly, the safe roads grant is intended to improve children’s safety for walking and bicycling is to school by building sidewalks, bicycle paths and pedestrian-friendly walkways. The program is handled by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The result would be better communities and a reduction in traffic, as well as exercise for the children and improved infrastructure.

Actually, the town hoped to build either a three-way or four-way pedestrian crossing.

But at the council meeting earlier this month, town officials noted that cost for the work came in overbid. And besides that Town Attorney Cal Spencer said there are a prohibitive number of strings attached to the funds.

Subsequently, council decided that the grant is not important to the town.

“The only school we’ve got in Kenbridge is an elementary school and it’s impractical for elementary kids to walk to school,” Hodges added.