SAFETY IN CHURUBUSCO: Routes to school a high priority

CHURUBUSCO — Safe routes to school is a high priority to the Churubusco Town Council.Madalyn Sade-Bartl, Churubusco’s clerk/treasurer, and Jeremy Hart, town supervisor, began looking into a grant from the State of Indiana worth $250,000. That money would be used for infrastructure projects and $75,000 is available for non-infrastructure projects to construct safe routes to school for elementary and middle school-aged children.“Funding is disbursed on a reimbursed basis,” said Sade-Bartl. “It is not a cash grant and no local or state match is required. Infrastructures must connect to the school and we would use the Town Park as the connecting factor,” she said.Churubusco has state and U.S. highways as its main streets and those routes are not eligible for the program.“The town would have to cover the costs to repair those sidewalks on Main and Whitley streets if needed,” said Sade-Bartl.“Many Indiana Department of Transportation and federal mandates are involved. The total project time could take about three years for everything to be completed. Program applications are due May 29,” said Sade-Bartl.She and Hart are partnering with Smith-Green Community Schools by having it distribute the necessary surveys for the program application. They are meeting with INDOT this week to discuss what specific mandates are required and what the total estimated cost is for budget purposes for the program application.“The street department is reviewing what easement and right-of-way rights the town has on certain proposed streets to ensure our proposed sidewalk routes are okay to build on,” said Sade-Bartl.In public comments, Bill “Skeeter” Fletcher, Churubusco resident, commended the council for putting new asphalt on East Street where he lives.“I’m proud of that work, but I must say the workers did a poor job,” said Fletcher.“There is a groove right down the middle of it the entire length of the street. I want you all to come look at it. I spoke to Jeremy Hart about it,” he said.Frank Kessler, president of the council, assured Fletcher that Murray Asphalt always does a good job and he would ask him to repair it.Jean Haynes, Churubusco resident, asked the board if the park was patrolled during the day time.“Rachel Sarafini was in the park earlier today with her little children,” said Haynes. “She was trying to have a picnic, but there were teenagers smoking and they kept trying to get away from them.”Kessler will bring it to Town Marshal Chad Fulkerson’s attention.