It appears that the city of Laurinburg picked a good time to consider improving the sidewalks on Church Street adjacent to Scotland High School.
Thanks to a grant currently available by the state, it is possible that up to 80 percent of the $60,000 it would cost for two sidewalk projects under consideration by city council will be covered by the North Carolina government.
“If we apply, I think we would have a (good chance of getting the grant),” said outgoing City Manager Ed Burchins. Suggesting that the city pursue the sidewalk grant was one of Burchins’ final acts as manager. He tendered his resignation after offering the suggestion to council.
“It is a competitive grant and it would probably take two to three months before we hear anything back,” Burchins said.
Councilman Drew Williamson said that he thought applying to the grant was a no-brainer.
“It is definitely worth a try,” Williamson said. “(Applying) would be a very wise thing to do.”
The state Department of Transportation recently poured a new section of sidewalk as part of its ongoing project to rebuild the US-401 overpass near the high school.
According to Burchins, the city will likely propose in its grant that the sidewalk be extended in front of the high school west to the city limits of Laurinburg as well as to the area extending from Church Street down beside the high school. Those paths are frequented by students walking to and from school.
City officials have said that they believe improving sidewalk access as well as updating the visibility and signage for the crosswalk to the Wilco/Hess service station in front of the high school would prove an important safety measure.
Councilmember Mary Jo Adams, who initially proposed that the sidewalk be extended to the city limits, said that she hoped that the Department of Transportation would be willing to extend the sidewalk onto school property.