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$112,700 grant will help build safe routes to schools

October 07, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Washington County Health Department received a $112,700 state grant Wednesday to build a sidewalk and install bike racks at Pangborn Elementary School.

The grant also will be used to pay overtime to law-enforcement officials to patrol school zones and rights of way at several elementary and middle schools in the county.

Mary McPherson, program manager for the Washington County Health Department, said the grant is one of several the health department has received in the past few years from the Maryland Safe Routes to School program.

She said one of the grants was used in the last year to build a sidewalk on Maryland Avenue near South Hagerstown High School.

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The cost of that project was about $150,000, The Herald-Mail reported.

The grants are used to make safe routes for children who walk and bike to school, McPherson said.

"They're not in the street," she said, referring to the children. "They're not in someone's yard. They're on a safe sidewalk."

McPherson said the City of Hagerstown will be responsible for supervising the construction of the sidewalk at Pangborn Elementary.

About $75,000 of the $112,700 grant will be earmarked to pay for the sidewalk, which will be built along Manor Drive near Pangborn Elementary, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said. That portion of the cost also will include minor tree removal.

Tissue said the rest of the grant money will pay for the bike racks and police overtime.

The sidewalk project could get under way as early as the second half of 2010, Tissue said. If everything goes as planned, the work would be completed in one to two months.

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