By BRAD KELLAR
City of Greenville officials are seeking to obtain grant funds to help complete the downtown streetscape initiative, and also to improve a local walking trail.
The City Council intends Tuesday to consider applying for two grants under the Statewide Transportation Enhancement Project (STEP). A public hearing is scheduled prior to the vote during Tuesday’s regular agenda, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street. A work session is also set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Director of Public Works Massoud Ebrahim is asking the Council to consider applying for the grants, which if the city is approved would provide 80 percent of the construction costs on two long anticipated projects.
The first would be an extension of the downtown streetscape project. In January 2002, the City of Greenville received a $1.2 million grant from the Texas Transportation Commission to pay for bringing downtown sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), primarily along Lee Street between Market Square and the Katy Depot, as well as landscaping, pedestrian lights and street furniture. Under the contract, the four blocks from Stonewall to King were included under original plans and specifications. Work on the last block, from King to Wright, was to only include enhancements such as street lighting, benches and trash receptacles. The first phase was completed in late 2007.
Ebrahim is hoping to obtain another $1 million in grant funding, with the city proving an almost $378,000 match, to add the streetscape to additional blocks of Lee, Johnson, Wesley and Gordon streets downtown.
Ebrahim is also seeking about $421,000 in grant funding, with the city offering a match of approximately $158,000, for improvements along the Longbranch Trail.
Both project were submitted to the STEP in 2090, but were not accepted at that time.
Ebrahim said the deadline to apply for this year’s program is Nov. 16.