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Grant sparks school safety improvements

By EASON FRANKLIN
The Lowndes Signal
Some local Lowndes County school children will soon have newer, safer methods of getting to and from school.
The town of Ft. Deposit was recently awarded $159,380 by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to assist with the Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS).
The funding will provide Ft. Deposit Elementary and Lowndes Middle School with improved sidewalks and crosswalks. The grant is also designed to encourage students to walk and bike to school as well as make it more appealing.
The program also makes possible planning, development and implementation of projects that improve highway safety, reduce traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution around school zones.
Much of the financial support for the grant’s receipt was provided on behalf of the Southeast Alabama Gas District, which “was the spark plug to make the grant possible,” according to Ft Deposit Mayor Fletcher Fountain.
“The town strongly supports public safety initiatives for our school zones,” said Fountain. “The SRTS is a good investment that is critically needed to upgrade public facilities that help to provide improved transportation safety for our children and our schools.”
Ft. Deposit is expected to work closely with the Lowndes County Board of Education and ALDOT throughout the project, though it is unknown when the project will begin.
“The town is still waiting to hear a response from the Department of Transportation,” said Ft. Deposit Mayor Pro-tem Elbert Means.