By Amanda Ensinger
With many kids starting school, a Prairie Township resident questioned the board about actions they are taking to protect students as they cross busy streets.
“Are there any plans of walkways to help kids get to and from school?” asked resident Bob Voss at a recent board meeting.
For years, Voss has been requesting that the township create walkways to protect students.
He worries there are a lack of sidewalks and there are dangerous crossings in several neighborhoods.
Prairie Township Administrator James Jewell said the township is seeking grant funding that could be used on sidewalk projects.
“Grant funding has certain restrictions to be applied to certain things,” Jewell said. “This does not come from our normal operating tax dollars.”
Also at the meeting, residents asked the board about the increased homeless population in the area.
“What is being done about homeless people in the township? I have seen people living in their cars,” said resident Debra Kurtz. “Are we providing low-income housing?”
Residents added that there are numerous homeless people on Hilton Avenue and West Broad Street.
Township officials are aware of the increase in homelessness and they have reached out to advocates for the homeless. They also are working with the Community Shelter Board to help these individuals.
“We are going to see what can be done,” Jewell said.
In other news, Josh Roth, economic development manager with COTA, and John Gardocki, transit planner with MORPC, shared information on the proposed BRT corridor project within the township.
“This will allow for more employment options and transportation to places like Amazon and Intel,” said trustee Rod Pritchard. “We need to guarantee transportation to workplaces. The county connections, which are services of the COTA connection, will allow West Broad to accommodate the project with the intention to help gain access to West Jefferson as well.”
Residents asked if there would be a stop on Hubbard.
“Not at this time,” replied Gardocki, adding that they were looking at other options within the township.”
Residents questioned why a trolley service couldn’t be created. Gardocki said they would have to dedicate lanes for a trolley to operate and buses are a more affordable option.