Symsonia awarded grant for sidewalk


The Symsonia Community Development Corporation has been notified that it is eligible for a federal grant up to $540,848 to construct about 2 miles of sidewalk, allowing residents safe passage to important destinations in the small, north Graves County community.

Third District Commissioner Todd Hayden told the Mayfield Messenger Thursday that committee officials were notified by a news release from Gov. Matt Bevin's office this week about the approval it has sought for two years.

However, the total amount of funds allocated for the proposed project will depend upon whether SCDC members can raise 20 percent in matching funds. To take advantage of the total grant, the board will have come up with around $109,000.

Hayden said the corporation has much of the funding and is confident that raising the total is possible.

"We're going to have to come up with some more money to get the match," Hayden said. "We'll do as much of the sidewalk as we can with the amount of money that we can come up with. But we'll probably come up with getting most of it -- or all of it."

Hayden said the board would begin the engineering process soon.

Bevin officially acknowledged the grant, administered through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, earlier this month as part of a $1.2 million package for projects in both Symsonia and Calvert City. The funds are intended to pay for projects that "improve infrastructure for non-drivers."

The main part of the project in Symsonia would join the Sunshine Trailer Court and the Cedar Ridge subdivision by sidewalk on one side of the roadway directly to Symsonia Elementary School.

"On Highway 348, it's going to run from the Sunshine Trailer Park to Highway 534 and then, on Highway 131, it's going to run from Lisa Lane through the 4-way stop and on out (about a quarter of a mile)," Hayden said. "We are going to try to start on Highway 131 to make sure we can get it in front of the school all the way down to the Westwood Apartments - that's housing for elderly and disabled people - so that way they can get to the Dollar store, the grocery store, the school and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We also have a new restaurant in town, MLC's Home Cooking. They just started up last week."

Former Judge-Executive Tony Smith started the Symsonia Community Development Corporation. Smith placed the Third District commissioner on the board, a seat occupied by Hayden since its inception. Other board members of the corporation include Michelle McKee, Rick Johnson, Marvin Bell and President Roger McManus.

As part of the total allocation, Calvert City received $687,017 to construct the final phase of the multi-use trail that links the downtown area by sidewalk with Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and its network of trails.

"We are grateful for this significant federal TAP investment to benefit the city of Symsonia and Calvert City," Bevin said in the news release. "Funds from this program enable local communities to implement important transportation projects that increase connectivity for diverse populations, such as non-driving and disabled Kentuckians."

TAP is a federally-funded reimbursement program administered through the Office of Local Programs in KYTC's Department of Rural and Municipal Aid. Funding assists communities in paying for transportation improvements, such as safe bicycle and pedestrian pathways/facilities, safe routes to schools, scenic routes, overlooks and other investments.

"These funds support many Cabinet priorities such as improved safety, increased access and more efficient modes of transportation," said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. "We're pleased this community (Symsonia) will be able to make needed improvements to enhance the quality of life for Kentuckians."