The years-long neighborhood push to create paved pedestrian paths alongside the U.S. 2 hall by way of Evergreen is usually described as a “hen and egg” scenario. The query all the time being, who will make the primary transfer to place this much-needed Protected Routes to Colleges mission in movement?
Neither the state nor Flathead County has stepped as much as construct the sidewalks which are wanted to maintain younger college students from having to stroll to high school alongside the slender and muddy shoulder of a four-lane freeway. The harmful situation is a tragedy ready to occur, and the Evergreen neighborhood is pleading for help on this crucial infrastructure mission.
Fortunately, Flathead County commissioners lastly took step one final week, albeit on the eleventh hour.
After expressing preliminary reservations about such a mission, the commissioners unanimously agreed to submit a grant utility to the Montana Division of Transportation to fund development of sidewalks. However right here’s the rub. The deadline to use for the grant is June 4 — the clock is ticking down rapidly.
And with a purpose to strengthen the grant utility, the county would wish to provoke a course of to determine a rural service enchancment district to offer native matching funds by way of taxes levied on property house owners alongside the freeway.
County Administrator Mike Pence stated the formation of the service district and the county’s capability to just accept a state grant are contingent on each other. He stated his workplace would push to get its evaluation carried out, and we’re hopeful they will meet the deadline.
In fact, even when the appliance is submitted on time there is no such thing as a assure the funding will come by way of. And if the county’s utility doesn’t make the minimize, that may’t be the top of the dialog.
The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Membership of Evergreen, and Evergreen Group Companions all have pores and skin within the recreation, having helped elevate the funds to rent an engineering agency to draft a plan and provide you with price estimates. Backers are additionally prepared to assist elevate non-public funds for sidewalk upkeep.
It’s excessive time Flathead County’s elected officers get within the recreation as properly, and commit to creating this mission a precedence — not only for the betterment of Evergreen however for the security of all the neighborhood.
There’s an excessive amount of at stake to disregard it any longer.