×

New Ipswich seeks transportation grant for sidewalk project

  • Temple Road leading to Memorial Park would be targeted for a sidewalk project if state funds are available. Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, July 12, 2018 12:10PM

The New Ipswich Select Board will be making a third attempt this year to get grant funds to extend the sidewalk from the center of town to Memorial Park on Temple Road.

The state Department of Transportation sponsors a Transportation Alternatives Program, with a using federal funds to provide road improvements for pedestrians and bikers. 

The funds can be used for construction, planning or design phases of trail or roadwork to create walking or bike paths, or conversion of old railroad beds to pedestrian trails. 

The pool of funds available is about $3.2 million,  to be allocated over the next two years. The projects must be significant – between $400,000 and $1 million, and require a 20 percent match by the municipality.

With the deadline to submit a letter of interest in applying for the funds, the Select Board decided Tuesday to try for a third time for funds to complete a sidewalk project that would give pedestrians – particularly school kids – a safe route to the playground.

Sidewalks downtown extend from the Boynton Middle School through the downtown. If granted the funds, New Ipswich would extend a sidewalk down Temple Road as well, at least the short distance to Memorial Park, and perhaps further to wrap around Playground Road. It could also include a footbridge crossing the creek that runs alongside the park’s edge.

Selectman David Lage asked Town Administrator Carlotta Pini if there was anything that the town could do to increase its chances, after failing to be approved for previous rounds of grant funding. 

Pini replied that after speaking to planning and state officials, that she was advised that chances improve the farther along a project is in the planning stages, and when the municipality has already raised its portion of the funds. 

The board agreed that Pini should submit a letter of interest for the town to the Department of Transportation prior to the July 13 deadline, indicating its interest in applying for the grant. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.