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NCDOT approves funding for Columbus/Tryon bike and pedestrian plan

COLUMBUS/TRYON – The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved funding for a bicycle and pedestrian comprehensive plan for the Towns of Columbus and Tryon.

As part of the grant, Tryon and Columbus councils both had to approve a resolution to participate in the study. Tryon Town Council approved the resolution during its May 16 meeting and Columbus Town Council approved the resolution during its May 18 meeting.

The cost of the project is estimated at $40,000 for each town, with the towns contributing 10 percent of the total costs, or $4,000 each.

During Tryon’s meeting, community development director Paula Kempton said the towns were asked to reapply for the grant last October and did so. Kempton said the towns have been awarded the grant to do a comprehensive municipal bicycle and pedestrian plan and in order to move forward both towns have to approve the resolution.

During Columbus’ meeting, town manager Tim Barth said the Polk County Community Foundation has pledged to pay the full amount of the match.

During Tryon’s October 2016 meeting, council approved a resolution to apply for the grant.

“The Town Council believes that bicycle and pedestrian planning will enhance local and regional planning goals and wishes to do more detailed planning in order to implement one or more of the identified projects,” stated Tryon’s resolution.

The resolution also said the Polk County Community Foundation and the Marjorie M. Lawrence R. Bradley Endowment Fund had awarded the town a board initiative grant for matching money for the joint bicycle plan with the town of Columbus for future DOT projects.

Following is the resolution approved by the Town of Tryon. Columbus approved a similar resolution with the town Columbus substituted for Tryon.

WHEREAS, in accordance with G.S. 136-66.2.1, the N.C. General Assembly requires each municipality, with the cooperation of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (the “department”) to develop a comprehensive transportation plan that will serve present and anticipated travel demand; and

WHEREAS, the department has initiated a program to encourage the development of comprehensive municipal bicycle plans and pedestrian plans; and

WHEREAS, to encourage the development of comprehensive local bicycle plans and pedestrian plans, the department’s division of bicycle and pedestrian transportation (DBPT) and the transportation planning branch (TPB) have created a matching grant program to fund plan development; and

WHEREAS, the department and the Town of Tryon have agreed that a comprehensive plan is needed to evaluate and identify critical municipal needs for planning and/or implementation of bike and pedestrian plan improvements; and

WHEREAS, the department and the Town of Tryon have agreed to participate in the cost of this comprehensive plan, with the Town of Tryon agreeing to participate in the plan development process (the “project”); and

WHEREAS, the Town of Tryon desires to enter into a municipal agreement with the department whereby the municipality and the department shall develop a bike and pedestrian comprehensive plan (estimated cost of the project is $40,000); and

WHEREAS, the department shall provide the Town of Tryon ninety percent (90 percent) of the actual project costs, in an amount not to exceed $36,000 as approved by the department’s board of transportation.

WHEREAS, the Town of Tryon shall provide the department with a funding match for ten (10 percent) of the actual project costs, and WHEREAS the department shall reimburse the municipality for any overpayment of actual project costs.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that this project is hereby formally approved by the board of commissioners of the Town of Tryon and that the mayor and clerk of this municipality are hereby empowered to sign and execute the agreement with the department.