Stebbins Street, St. Albans City

Stebbins Street in St. Albans City is seen on Monday. The street is one of two that will benefit from grant funding for new sidewalks.

ST. ALBANS CITY — The city is set to receive nearly $100,000 for a sidewalk project courtesy of the Vermont Downtown Board.

According to an announcement Monday by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, St. Albans City will be getting $98,357 to go toward sidewalk enhancement and extension that will “improve access and help connect a missing sidewalk link” on Stebbins and Center streets.

“The sidewalks on each street have been on the list for reconstruction and refurbishment along with the rest of the city’s multi-year sidewalk bond project,” said Planning and Development Director Chip Sawyer. “Furthermore, we are hoping to be able to widen the top portion of the sidewalk on Center along businesses by 1 foot to make that stretch easier to maintain in the winter.”

Sawyer said the $196,715 price tag of the two projects was budgeted into the city’s sidewalk bond for the year. While some projects in a given year may need to be cut due bids and cost, Sawyer said the grant funding will ensure the city can complete the two projects without the costs competing with other projects on the list.

The sidewalks are anticipated to be completed over the summer, with the Center Street project to begin in the next several weeks.

St. Albans City’s share is a portion of $498,320 in grants awarded to seven designated downtowns across the state Monday.

“Vermont downtowns have worked incredibly hard to respond to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists,” said Michele Boomhower, director of policy, planning and intermodal development for the Vermont Agency of Transportation. “These needs have far outstripped demand for many years and I am thrilled the legislature is supporting the governor’s proposals to boost the Downtown Transportation Fund by $5 million.”

Josh Hanford, Chair of the Downtown Board and Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said increasing public investments in our downtowns are now more important than ever.

“As more and more Vermonters get vaccinated, these types of access improvements are just what our downtowns need to help draw people back to local businesses and rebuild community life harmed by the pandemic,” he said.

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