Thanks to the generosity of the El Dorado Springs community the Chamber of Commerce secured the $44,000 in public pledges for Phase II of the “Sidewalk to the Future.” The goal was met just prior to the Dec. 28 deadline set to collect the pledge signatures. The Chamber of Commerce and City of El Dorado Springs were informed the grant providing 80% of the project funding was approved late last week.

Chamber Director Jackson Tough exclaimed, “Progress! What a great way to end 2016 and start the new year!” Tough said, “Between City Manager Bruce Rogers writing the El Dorado Springs grant application which contained several strengths that made it stand out, the Chamber of Commerce supporting the project and the community pulling together for a portion of the funding, we felt positive about our chances. The community ‘buys-in’ to projects that improve El Dorado Springs. We will finish with 55-60 people and businesses who pledged support. We knew there were many applications and several strong submissions from other communities.”

Darin Hamelink, regional engineer for MODOT said “The El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce efforts to get public involvement was second to none.”

“There were almost 100 grant applications that El Dorado Springs was competing against for a portion of the funding. I truly believe the commitment our community illustrated by working together to raise 10% of the funding for the project, the City’s commitment to match that and having a plan of successive projects is what made a difference between our submission and others,” commented Tough.

The project has multiple focus points. The first, children need safe roads to reach school and activities. Park Street is a narrow corridor forcing school children to walk close proximity to a high volume of traffic. Providing safe opportunities for walking to and from school and activities is a key strategy to keep kids protected, active and healthy. Resources such as sidewalks can be a lifeline especially for older adults and people with disabilities. Creating safe sidewalk options for El Dorado Springs’ residents builds a more livable, accessible community for people of all ages, abilities and income levels. And not least, more complete streets support economic growth and community stability by providing accessible and efficient connections between home, school, work, recreation and retail destinations! This means quality access to jobs, health care, shops, and schools that citizens desire and deserve. This project allows residents better access to medical care including hospital, dentists, optometrist, chiropractor, nursing home, medical clinics and more.

The sidewalk is anticipated to be constructed on Park Street, north from the school to get children safely across the large culvert just north of Fields Blvd, joining a length of sidewalk at Joe Davis St. The south section begins at the south end of the public school on Park St. to US Highway 54 and a pedestrian crossing, continuing south to Hospital Rd, then east on Hospital Rd to Hwy. 32. Because of the nature of such projects figures, measurements, locations, etc are approximations.

The Chamber of Commerce and City appreciate all those that pledged to make this project a reality. These include: Judy Bowles, Woods Supermarket, Bob and Glenda Baker, Fugate Motors, Bill and Jan Neale, Carl Kent and Doris Fortney, Santa Paula Awning, Carol Butts, John and Edith Koger, State Farm Insurance, Home Furnishings, Dr. Rick Casey, Jim and Bonnie Keith, Clinton and Mary Cain, Sac Osage Retired Teachers, Cedar County Memorial Hospital, Marge Vance, Les and Judy Knight, A-1 Body Shop, Nine Wonders Optimist Club, Earl and Sylvia Ackley, Ruby Fields, Mike and Joe’s Service Station, Jennie Barritt, First Christian Church, Lolis Rosbrough, Don and Karen Boultinghouse, Mark and Jennifer Koca, El Dorado Springs R-2 School District, Evans Drugs, El Dorado Springs Optimist Club, Gary Collins, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Citizens Memorial Hospital, Dennis and Carolyn Storbeck, Mid Missouri Bank, Dairi Concepts, Sonic, Count On Us Catering, Vapaholics, Jerry Brackenridge, Housh Dentistry, Camp Galilee, Jim and Mary Luster, Allison Quick Lube, Community Bank, El Dorado Springs Family Chiropractic, Braided Rivers, Lisa Phillips, Progress Club, Lynn Fredrickson, WINGS Refuge, Night and Day Renovations, Shannon & Associates and anonymous donors.

Funds are still being sought for benches along the route. If you’d like to participate, please contact the Chamber of Commerce. Pledges for the “Sidewalk to the Future” Phase Two Sidewalk Project should be fulfilled by April 28, 2017.

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