Monday, October 25, 2010

MENIFEE: City gets Safe Route to School grant for Romoland School

MENIFEE: City gets Safe Route to School grant

Money earmarked for project near Romoland Elementary

Students at Romoland Elementary School in Menifee should soon have a safer route to school thanks to a grant from the California Department of Transportation.

The Menifee City Council last month authorized the design as well as sidewalk construction, and the installation of curbs and gutters on Antelope Road north of the school and east on Watson Road to Trade Winds Drive.

Called Safe Routes to School, the state program has granted $411,000 to the city for road improvements. Under terms of the grant, the city is required to kick in an additional $46,000 to help pay for the project.

Romoland Elementary Principal Troy Cox was happy about the news.
"I travel that route to school every day and it could use some work," Cox said. "Sidewalks anywhere around our school make a big difference and are a welcome addition."

Menifee City Engineer Don Allison said work could begin on the Romoland Elementary project in early 2011. He said rights-of-way will have to be obtained from three property owners along the proposed construction route, which measures about a mile.

"The only surface there now is dirt, so when it rains those kids are buried in mud," Allison said.

Menifee Councilman Scott Mann, who helped write the Safe Routes to School grant proposal, said the award from Caltrans marks a milestone in the city's two-year history: It's the first grant awarded to the city.

In all, 48 grants were awarded to cities across the state.
"It's really good to win one," Mann said. "It's nice to have because we need the infrastructure."

The councilman said grant proposals were written separately for two projects ---- one being Romoland Elementary and the other for a combination of Menifee Middle School and nearby Menifee Elementary School in the southwest part of the city. The city was seeking about $800,000 for that project.

Menifee Middle and Menifee Elementary often have drainage problems when it rains, Mann said. He added that proposal will be submitted again to Caltrans.

Menifee is the only Southwest County city to have been awarded a Safe Routes to School grant in the current cycle of the program. Wildomar received a similar grant for $403,000 in 2008-09.

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