The project, which began in 2013 and will likely be finished at the end of spring, according to Assistant City Manager Todd Heath, cost $10,013. The city’s schedule of 2003 and 2008 SPLOST expenditures, as of Nov. 30, 2013, lists only three other times the funds were used throughout the year.
The 2003 SPLOST’s only expenditure was $261 dedicated toward groundwater exploration, while the 2008 SPLOST had maintaining sewer flow and develop GIS system expenditures in the amounts of $2,150 and $33, respectively.
Heath said the new section of sidewalk, which is approximately 1,000 feet, serves a need for two area schools.
“It ties Seventh Street in to the new elementary school — Emerson Elementary School — project and South Central [Middle School]. We thought it would be a good idea because we have a lot of students that walk from the east side of Emerson, and there was going to be a gap from where the two schools are ... So [the city] just did the sidewalk project that way so it would be continuous,” Heath said.
The decision to install the sidewalk was a community one, Heath added.
“City officials had asked for sidewalks in the past. We haven’t really had much of a demand, I’d suspect, from the citizens, but it’s just more of an observance,” he said. “We could see there was children walking in the roadway after school let out.
“ ... We had the [Bartow County Campus Police Department] had talked to us about it in the past and kind of made it aware, and then our police department as well.”
In terms of future SPLOST projects involving sidewalks, Heath was optimistic.
“We definitely want to. We hope that the public will see the improvements in the area and then that they will request it so we can move forward with that project — take it further,” he said.