Verndale City Council: Safe Routes to School, water tower cost increases

by Trinity Gruenberg

The Verndale City Council held its regular meeting on November 9. Council Member Jim Runyan was absent.

Safe Routes to School Grants

Tad Erickson and Matt Kallroos with the Region 5 Development Commission explained there is a federal program and the state department of transportation will fund the Safe Routes to School program. This is designed to get more kids walking and biking to school where it’s safe to do so.

The biggest change from 1969-2009, walking and biking went from nearly 50 percent to 13 percent. Obesity rates went from 15 percent in 1995 to 27 percent in 2014.

Some reasons for decreased walking and biking are adverse weather, traffic dangers, and lack of crosswalks.

MNDOT offers technical assistance grants and pays Region 5 to facilitate the planning process. They also conduct surveys to see who’s walking and biking and assist with the application process. Applications are due by November 25 and applicants will be notified in the spring.

Mayor Raye Ludovissie was concerned about the railroad and Highway 10 being dangerous to cross for people on the north side of town.

They will conduct a walk audit to look at the route.

The council approved to apply. . .

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