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Putman wants to explore sidewalks along Route 11C

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BRASHER FALLS - St. Lawrence Central School Superintendent Stephen M. Putman says he’d like to work with town of Brasher officials to explore federal funding that would allow them to build a sidewalk from the school along state Route 11C to the intersection with County Route 50 at Munson’s store.

But it may be easier said than done, according to Town Supervisor M. James Dawson.

Mr. Putman told board of education members Wednesday night that he hoped to work with town officials on the Safe Routes to Schools Program, a federal aid program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.

“I want to talk to Jim Dawson about the possibility of putting a sidewalk from the corner to the school,” Mr. Putman said.

The program, which is administered by state Department of Transportation, provides funds the states to “substantially improve the ability of primary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school safely,” according to the Federal Highway Administration’s website.

The program establishes two distinct types of funding opportunities - infrastructure projects involving engineering improvements and non-infrastructure-related activities such as education, enforcement and encouragement programs.

Mr. Putman said that, while few students are walking to school in the morning, a number of them are walking down state Route 11C after school. No sidewalks currently exist on the route, which would provide safety for the district’s students, he said.

The cost of the work would be reimbursable, according to the superintendent.

But Mr. Dawson, speaking following the meeting, said there were several requirements to participate in the program, and the reimbursement might not cover the total cost of the project.

He said the school is unable to apply for infrastructure improvements under the program, so that necessitated working with a local municipality.

“It’s very complicated because the issue is you would be going along a state right of way. I don’t know how you would manage that,” Mr. Dawson said.

In addition, he said, they would need permission from homeowners along the route to install the sidewalk on their property.

Despite the issues, Mr. Dawson said he was willing to explore the program with Mr. Putman.

“I’m gong to look into it,” he said.

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