NOLANVILLE — Officials will be able to address sidewalk and road improvements, after receiving notification the city is approved for two separate grants worth about $950,300 combined.

The first is a $500,000 Transportations Alternatives Program grant, which the city intends to use for sidewalk and road improvements along Old Nolanville Road.

A Texas Department of Transportation news release states more than $25 million worth of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects in 17 small urban and 33 non-urban areas will be made through the TAP grant.

Other local approved projects include: $2.1 million for Phase II of Belton’s Chisolm Trail Hike and Bike Facility Phase II and about $300,000 for enhancements along Saldo Creek.

“We are pleased to have these projects approved as we work with our local communities to enhance their local multi-modal transportation systems,” said Bobby Littlefield, District Engineer for TxDOT’s Waco District.

Nolanville intends to use its portion to fund 6-foot sidewalks that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act near Nolanville Elementary, said Gandolf Burrus, president of Grant Development Services that represented Nolanville in seeking the grant.

“The purpose of that sidewalk is safety,” Burrus said. “They will not build recreational sidewalks.”

Former Councilman Ernesto Servan, whose daughter attends the school, said he’s observed parking and traffic on the street getting worse.

“We’ve got citizens that are going through there. ... I think (sidewalks are) a great idea at this point. ... Kids or people are running, and they have to get off the road,” he said.

City Manager Kara Escajeda said the city is required to contribute about 20 percent of the grant.

“It’s going to be funded through the sales tax that’s generated for street repair,” Escajeda said of the city’s match. “So that’s not coming out of operational expenses.”

Burrus said the next step in the process is for Nolanville to receive its advanced funding agreement, or contract, from TxDOT.

Known as a local “let” grant, locals will build the project, he said.

“The locals will build it. They will hire engineers. They will get it designed. They will bid it,” Burrus said. “In essence, it is a local project.”

The second grant approved is $450,309 approved by the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization. It also requires a 20 percent match from the city.

The funding would come from the Federal Highway Administration’s Surface Transportation Program, known as Category 7 funds.

As with the TAP grant, Burrus said the city is awaiting its contract.

The next process would be to procure professional services.

“Once the engineer is hired, they will do the design and a preliminary engineering report, which will be the basis of the environmental assessment, which has to be completed before any dirt can turn, and then we will go out for formal bids,” he said.

According to the city’s application, the funds will be for sidewalks along Main Street.

According to preliminary project plans, 10-foot-wide sidewalks for biking and walking would go be on both sides of Main Street, from the Shell and Valero gas stations near U.S. Highway 190, and continue toward the Avenue I intersection.

Sidewalks would be 12 feet wide at the railroad track crossings in Nolanville.

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad and Hill Country Transit District, or HOP, are making contributions, which would account for about 5 percent of the project, Burrus said.

The project includes two HOP bus stops, which the HOP is providing, refurbished shelters and lighting.

“So we’ll have to protective HOP stops, 10-inch sidewalks, biking, pedestrian activity on both sides of the city and building a gateway that we will hopefully attract people in this city,” he said.

Contact Rachael Riley at rriley@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7553

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