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A major upgrade of about 1.5 miles of South Broad Street from the intersection with Fourth Avenue will get underway in late 2021 and the Cairo City Council voted Monday night to pool its state resources in 2021 and 2022 to finance the project.
Cairo city manager Chris Addleton recommended this week the council pool its FY-2021 Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) of $144,075.73 with its FY-2022 LMIG to fund the South Broad Street project, which includes resurfacing, curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements.
The project will not begin until water and sewer improvements in the area, to be funded with a Community Development Block Grant, are completed, according to Addleton.
The city is receiving less in LMIG this year than in years past. The FY-2020 LMIG grant of $166,417.31 was used for the phase seven street resurfacing, which was also funded with sales tax proceeds, for a total project cost of $962,374.
In FY-2019, the city received $153,439.93, which was pooled with other funds for a MacIvor Drive N.E. street and drainage project, total cost $515,911.
The FY-2018 LMIG grant was $149,921.89 and combined with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue the city completed phase six street resurfacing at a total cost of $775,252.
In related news, the council on Monday night extended the school zone on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue S.W at the request of Grady County school superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard.
The superintendent requested the school zone be extended two blocks west from its current boundary at 15th Street S.W. to Legion Boulevard S.W. Dr. Gilliard said that the school system will continue to operate two bus stops in that area so that children do not have to cross M.L. King Jr. Avenue S.W. to board or exit a bus. However, moving the school zone west as requested would place both bus stops within the posted school zone.
In reviewing the city’s traffic ordinance, Addleton discovered that the school zone on the East end of M.L. King Jr. Avenue S.W. does not match the description in the ordinance and the city manager is requesting the ordinance be revised to match.
The ordinance indicates 12th Street S.W as the ending point on the East side, but in fact the school zone ends 300 feet east of Sixth Street S.W.
During the last school term, a child was hit by a car as he crossed M.L. King Jr. Avenue S.W. Dr. Gilliard acknowledges that extending the school zone westward now would not have prevented that tragic accident since in that incident the motorist was traveling west and was not speeding.