The City of Germantown will be adding more connectivity to its community and making its streets safer in the process thanks to two newly awarded grants totaling more than $800,000 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
The first grant for $588,501 will close a significant gap in the Germantown Greenway trail system and provide users a seamless route westward and eastward.
“We’ve had a Greenway in Germantown since the late 1990s, and we continue to add to it very wisely through grant applications,” said Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo, who estimates a cost of approximately $1,000 per foot to put in a Greenway.
Once completed, the Germantown Greenway Neshoba Trail Connector will provide a 10-feet wide asphalt trail beginning at Neshoba Park and extending east to connect to the newest section of Greenway which parallels the Wolf River Boulevard Connector.
“We’re pretty serious about the Greenway. We’ve got a Germantown Wellness Council, and we’re part of Governor Haslem’s Healthier Tennessee initiative,” said Palazzolo. “”If you’re out there moving - whether it’s walking, biking, roller skating, or skateboarding - you are living better.”
The city also will receive its second TDOT Safe Routes to School grant for Riverdale School, complimenting a Safe Routes to School grant received in 2015. The new grant totals $215,795, with $190,811 earmarked for the addition of new sidewalks in neighborhoods within one mile of Riverdale School and the remaining $24,984 to be used to support educational activities for K-8 Riverdale students.
The goal of the program is to provide safe passage for students walking or biking to and from school.
“We’re creating a better, safer, more inviting sidewalk network to get students within a one-mile radius to the school,” said Palazzolo. “We want to encourage children to get healthy, and what better way is there than having a safe and pleasant walk to school with their parent or sibling.”
He expects the work to be completed by the fall of 2017, when the new $12 million wing of the school opens up.
Germantown’s aggressive grant-seeking initiative is led by Grants Manager Alexa Robinson. Since July 2013, Germantown has secured more than 25 grants, adding just under $2 million to the City’s revenue stream. The funds have been used to build greenway trail connectors, improve safety for children walking and biking to school, encourage families to read together, promote wellness among the City’s firefighters, educate entrepreneurs, support economic development activities, create historical archives at the Germantown Community Library and more.