CLINTON — Members of the East Central Intergovernmental Association attended the Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday morning to ask for a letter of support for their safe routes to school program.

Chandra Ravada, co-director of transportation and planning for the ECIA, and Candace Eudaley, regional economic development coordinator for the ECIA, presented the board with information about the project. This project would be funded by a grant. Ravada said they are currently working toward the Oct. 1 deadline for submitting their application. He said the association would know if it had received the grant by February 2010. The group would then begin planning for the projects and the funds would be available by October 2010.

Ravada said once they receive the grant, the object is to work to provide methodologies on how children can walk and bike to school. He said the program works toward providing projects at a school district to make it a place “where the kids can feel safe to walk and bike to school.”

“In this process we'll be working very closely with the schools and the supervisors, as well as the local communities. And while we're working with them, we'll find out what the issues are,” said Ravada.

Eudaley said the process for the program begins with baseline surveys being given to parents and students at each school district. The surveys could ask how far students live from the school. The survey asks students who drive to school where they park and how far from the school their parking spot is. Another survey question asks how much exercise students get each week. Eudaley said they begin with these surveys to get an idea where problems are, how close the students are to the school and how many students already walk or bike to school.

“And then we take that data and put it into some spread sheets and do some analysis on that and create a little report for each school. And we meet with the principal at each school and try to get an idea of what they see as problems and issues and see where things match up and how we can make some proposed projects,” said Eudaley. She said they then create a list of projects and prioritize them to see what the funds should go to.

Ravada told the supervisors that all Clinton County school districts, with the exception of the Clinton School District, will be included in this program. He said Clinton will not be included because it is already being done in the district. Ravada asked the board to provide a letter of support to them by this Friday to allow them to make the grant application deadline.

The board approved providing the letter of support.

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