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Silver Grove Honors Longtime Police Chief, Prepares for Sidewalk Projects

Former Silver Grove Police Chief John Sayers was recognized for his 50-plus years of service to the community at Thursday night's city council meeting.

Sayers was presented with a shadow box that included his gun, badge, and patch, an honor that was “long overdue,” Mayor Neal Bedel told Sayers, adding that the chief has been a “friend to everybody in this room throughout our lives. He’s had to smack us on the hand, each of us, a couple times, but he’s also been just a great, great friend. A great attribute to the city, a great ambassador for the City of Silver Grove.”

Awaiting news about its much-anticipated two sidewalk projects and the prospective grants as the meeting formally began, the city received welcome news from senior design engineer Justin Verst of Viox & Viox.  

Project one, or the “safe route to school” grant is 100 percent funded. The initial step requires the firm to gain an easement from the mobile home park and the owners of a few homes near the end of the cul-de-sac a bit further down the street, Verst told council. “The first thing we’re going to need to do here in the next month is to get a feel from the folks over there (from the mobile homes) to see if we are going to have a problem getting the easements in a timely manner. The grant covers the sidewalk all the way along the front of the school. It is possible to split it into two phases: If we think we’re going to have a problem getting an easement from the mobile home park or from the residents in the cul-de-sac, then we can delay that portion, fit out the piece by the school and get that going…Our goal is to come in to your April council meeting with a design plan for you to look at; make any comments, changes and then from there, restart the process.”

Verst cautioned council on the aforementioned process, comparing the last sidewalk project the company did to the new procedure. “When we got the grant, it came with an environmental exclusion document. Basically, it said there are no environmental issues that you have to worry about, analyzing potential environmental impacts. Now they don’t do that anymore. Now they make you submit your full design plan and then they review it. So, something that took a month or two on the front end has the potential to take up a lot of time.”

Verst added that his ideal goal would have construction beginning by August but admitted that the date may be too optimistic.

The second grant, which includes Route 8 heading east, has the city qualifying for an 80/20 match, which means it matches $76,000 toward the $304,000 grant from the state and can use the dollars however they choose. This grant has no specified timeline, Verst added.

Other Notes:

A new speed limit sign has recently been posted on Lindon Street, Public Works Director John Tucker told council, adding it will contribute toward alleviating the excessive speeding problem that has plagued the area.

Campbell County Fire Chief Greg Buckler will be resigning but will stay in the post until his replacement is found.

Council has given the go-ahead for law firm Freund, Freeze & Arnold to represent it in its lawsuit against the Sanitation District.

Written by Jason Finnell, RCN contributor