California approves sidewalk project with CPI

The City of California is moving forward with a new sidewalk project.

It agreed Monday to proceed with a plan to work with California Progress Inc (CPI) on the project.

Sarah Holtsclaw, of CPI, attended the city's Board of Aldermen's meeting on Feb. 5 to share more details about it.

"(Holtsclaw in January) told the board CPI is looking into a $500,000 grant application through the Missouri Department of Transportation for a new sidewalk," The Democrat wrote in a previous article. "The project's goal is to build a sidewalk from California High School toward the Village Green Shopping Center on West Buchanan Street. The grant application is called the Transportation Alternatives Program, otherwise known as MoDOT TAP."

However, before the board approved the sidewalk project, members asked if Holtzclaw could bring in a representative from MODOT for more information.

Although a representative from MoDOT wasn't available, Holtsclaw brought Jennifer Bowden, of the Mid-Mo Regional Planning Commission, to the board's February meeting. Holtzclaw said the commission will perform the grant writing for the sidewalk.

"(The grant) is designed for surface transportation. And it's non-motorized, so your sidewalks, your bike lanes, crosswalks type of stuff," Bowden explained. "It is an 80/20 matching grant, so (MoDOT) will reimburse you 80 percent of the cost. But the grant has a $100,000 federal minimum match and up to $500,000 for federal care."

Bowden said grant applications will be open from March until the end of April.

The city would need to sign off on the application for the grant as well as "pay the bills" for construction. However, MODOT would reimburse the city through the grant and CPI would fund-raise $100,000 - leaving the project at no cost to California.

The city would also have to acquire an engineering and construction quote while Bowden gathers general information about California for the application.

Bowden also told the board MoDOT is likely to request some sort of a financial commitment letter between the city and CPI as proof of collaboration.

This is part one of a two-part article on February's Board of Aldermen meeting.