ST. GEORGE — To accommodate for growth and provide safe travel for children, the city of St. George has targeted roadway improvements on a critical stretch of 2000 South near Crimson View Elementary.
“The reason why we are calling it ‘critical’ is there are a lot of homes being built who have children attending the elementary school,” said St. George City Councilman Jimmie Hughes. “The kids have to cross 3000 (East) and come down 2000 where there are no sidewalks.”
Although there is a walking path striped on one side of the road, there is a lack of a curb and gutter sidewalk because of the area’s rural mix between homes and agriculture use. Add to this the fact that there is a canal with a drainage pipe.
“My concern is … we have to make it safe for the children,” Hughes said, adding that the City Council works in conjunction with the Washington County School District, but they don’t always have funds for immediate infrastructure improvements when new schools are built.
The city anticipates the curb and gutter improvements along 2000 South will cost $2 million and possibly more because of challenging grade changes and existing properties that have landscaping reaching the roadway.
“What we are trying to do is get a safe route,” Hughes said. “We at least want to put a sidewalk on one side of the street.”
The new curb and gutter will link to existing sidewalks for a continuous access.
Because the schools are finished, Hughes said the city is behind the eight ball and needs to catch up with growth in this area.
“This has been my concern all along, and that is why I am pushing to get the improvements done,” Hughes said. “The kicker is that we have homes that are already there, and we can’t expect them to pay for the curb and gutter because they moved there without the expectations of that infrastructure in agricultural properties.”
In other cities, residents that improve their properties are required to foot the bill of $40,000 or more for an average size lot to lay a sidewalk as part of landscaping improvements.
Typically a developer would pay for curb and gutters when building subdivisions, but in this case, Hughes said, it’s unfair to tell people who never planned on the infrastructure to pay the bill now.
“This is not going to go over well, and I don’t support that,” he said. “What we are hoping is that property owners work with the city to make sure we have all of the right-of-way (access) and I think they will.”
Everyone realizes students need to be safe, Hughes added.
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