Forging partnerships is a great way to get things done.
A case in point is the latest partnership, of sorts, between the state Department of Transportation and the City of Clinton, which will bring sidewalk improvements and additional walkway to areas of Chestnutt and Ferrell streets which connect with Sunset and Butler elementary schools.
The improvements, with a price tag of up to $128,000, come with no cost to the city thanks to DOT Small Construction Funds which are making the project possible. The city’s responsibility centers on maintaining the sidewalks.
It is a good partnership that lends itself to the city’s attempts to be more pedestrian-friendly and shows the DOTs commitment to Clinton and its residents.
The beneficiaries, of course, will be all those who utilize the sidewalks, many of them in dire need of the improvements that will now come to fruition.
Information provided at last week’s City Council meeting shows that the funding will allow construction of about 980 feet of new sidewalk and repair walkways along Ferrell, Chestnutt and Fayetteville streets that have been sorely in need of work for some time now.
The improvements will consist of 5-foot concrete sidewalks, curb ramps and drainage modifications to connect existing sections of the sidewalk. In addition, there will be 360 total fee of new sidewalk for Chestnutt and an additional 620 feet of new sidewalk at Ferrell Street extending from West John to West Morrisey Boulevard. All that is currently proposed and should be possible with the DOT funding.
The work between the city’s planning staff and DOT officials proves that people working together with common goals can make positive things happen. In today’s world, with today’s economic challenges, it takes forging partnerships and utilizing out-of-the-box thinking to deliver the services so often needed by citizens.
Clinton has sidewalk needs. That has never been in question. Finding the resources, however, always has its challenges, particularly as city officials prioritize the needs for the municipality. City leaders have always been good about recognizing needs and meeting them, not with a knee-jerk reaction but with a slow, methodical method of getting things done without over taxing residents.
That is exactly what has happened with this latest project.
The city’s planning staff deserves much credit for tenaciously searching for funding to make the sidewalk improvements, and DOT officials deserve a nod of appreciation for seeing the need and being willing to provide funding to meet it.
Citizens should be pleased with the end result and, what’s more, they should feel confident in how the project came to fruition, understanding that city leaders are committed to finding ways to achieve their long-range goals, including the lofty ones that are part of the Clinton Pedestrian Plan.