Breckenridge awarded Safe Routes to School grant

This project will begin in June 2019 and be completed in August 2019. It will consist of a complete safe route system around the schools. 

The Breckenridge Active Living Committee was awarded $225,000 through the Minnesota Department of Transportation for a Safe Routes to School grant. 

The project has an estimated cost of $401,868. The grant is an 80/20 match, meaning the city would need to provide 20 percent of the construction costs, with 80 percent coming from the grant. This project will get in motion in June 2019 and be completed in 2022. It will consist of a complete safe route system around the schools. New sidewalks, walk and bike lanes, as well as ADA compliant crossings and necessary ramps, are all included. 

A Smart Gate on Beede Circle Drive along with Smart Crossing pushbuttons, ADA-compliant approaches and speed feedback signs will also be added on Beede Avenue. Repairs to existing sidewalks, curbs and parking lot work will also be completed. A map of the project can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/BreckActiveLivingCommittee/.

Reed Johnson, Breckenridge City Council, discussed possibly putting pickleball courts where the existing city tennis courts are located, near the aquatic center and high school. Four courts could be created, leaving two tennis courts for use. 

Public Services Director Neil Crocker discussed the various options that Building Official Joel Hoistad has drawn up along with potential associated costs. There is money already approved and budgeted, Crocker reported, which would be available in the capital outlay fund for such a project. Construction would entail a mill and overlay process followed by sealing and paint of the courts themselves and updating poles in the ground and new nets.

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in Minnesota, the United States and internationally. It is a paddle sport using a badminton-sized court and a tennis-style net played with a whiffle ball. The elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong for appropriate for players of all ages and skill levels. It is a non-contact sport that does not require nearly as much running or ground cover as tennis.

The next meeting of the Active Living Committee will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 13 at Breckenridge City Hall.

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