Swansboro is seeking $500,000 in state funds to build sidewalks. A formal request, by way of a resolution approved Aug. 13, has been forwarded to state Rep. Phil Shepard and state Sen. Harry Brown.
The funding request follows an April letter penned by Mayor John Davis apprising Shepard of the town’s needs.
“We’re working with the state legislators and they are working with the Department of Transportation,” Davis said.
The money would come out of the state DOT’s budget, according to Davis.
“It’s not part of the state budget,” he said.
Commissioners considered the resolution as suggested by Shepard and approved it in their meeting on Aug. 13. The same item had been considered in a special meeting on Aug. 6, but changes needed to be made, according to a memo from Paula Webb, assistant town manager and town clerk.
“Mayor Davis indicates after conversation with Rep. Shepard he would prefer the resolution to only request ‘sidewalk improvements’ and to include the town’s current allocated funds for sidewalks,” the memo states.
In his letter, Davis told Shepard the town’s sidewalks would not only provide “connectivity” among neighborhoods, parks, schools and shopping, but they would allow for transportation in these areas for vehicles other than automobiles.
“Most importantly, it provides a safe area to walk out of harms way,” he stated in the letter. “This is especially true for young children and those that are handicapped. In most areas there are gaps in sidewalks leaving the pedestrian no-where to walk but in the road right-of-way.”
Commissioner Roy Herrick, in commenting on the need for sidewalks at a recent meeting, told commissioners about a recent incident.
He said that he and other passing motorists came to the aid of a person in a wheelchair who had fallen wheelchair who had fallen while attempting to travel along Hammock Beach Road.
“Annually the town appropriates funds for the construction of sidewalks,” Davis said in the letter. “However, the amount of funds available nowhere matches the need for new sidewalk construction.”
Currently, the town has $116,634 set aside for sidewalk construction, according to the resolution.
In his letter Davis listed the four areas where sidewalk projects are proposed.
Priority number 1 is to complete gaps on the south side of N.C. 24. It is approximately 1,239 linear feet from McDonald’s to Hammock Beach Road.
Priority number 2 is to complete a gap on the east side of Old Hammock Road from Deer Island Road to N.C. 24, approximately.89 miles. For this section, Davis suggests “optional surfaces,” such as asphalt and marl, be considered.
Priority number 3 is to complete the sidewalk from Moore’s BBQ to Park Place, approximately .38 miles along Hammock Beach Road. An elevated section will be required at Park Place to reach the adjacent residences.
Priority number 4 is the Hammock Beach Road multi-use trail from Halls Creek Subdivision to 4H Road. This section is 2,323 feet.
Email Jimmy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.