Grant paves way for new sidewalks
The city of De Soto will spend $100,000 next year to improve old town sidewalks.
After a public hearing last month, during which residents advocated spending on shelters in Miller Park, the De Soto City Council agreed on sidewalk improvements in the old town.
The city annually receives $100,000 in CDBG funds. City Administrator Gerald Cooper said funds could be used for projects benefiting the poor, elderly or disabled.
After a public hearing last month which brought requests for things like shelters in Miller Park, continued improvements to the Community Center and streets, the council's consensus was to use the funds for new sidewalks and handicapped curb cuts in old town.
The city is currently conducting a survey in preparation for the grant's deadline July 13. Cooper said the survey would identify general, rather than specific needs.
Cooper said he didn't know how much sidewalk the city could replace with the grant. He noted the city spent $60,000 for the new sidewalks along Penner Avenue last year.
"I would like to see us pick up on Penner, bringing it into the downtown area, so that we have good condition sidewalks there," the city administrator said.
This year's CDBG funds were dedicated to making the Community Center more energy efficient. The city's 1999 grant was earmarked for sewer line improvements in the Lakeview Heights area.
City engineer Mike Brungardt told the council last month that bids for that project came in at $117,000, well over the annual $100,000 grant total. He said he would rebid the project with the hope the city will get a more competitive price if more contractors bid only two bid last time.