TxDOT says ‘no’ to sidewalks

Grant would have meant $2.5 million for downtown project

Main Street sidewalks would have received major upgrade. Main Street sidewalks would have received major upgrade. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) won’t be funding a major downtown sidewalk project for Rockdale.

Directors of the Rockdale Municipal Development District, meeting Thursday at City Hall, found out the MDD’s request for a $2.5 million grant was not approved for TxDOT funding through its Transportation Enhancement Program.

The MDD would have had to come up w ith just under $750,000 as its matching share of the 80-20 state program.

Under the proposal, new sidewalks would have been installed along US 79 in the downtown area and also along Main Street, linking the I&GN Depot-Museum and Kay Theatre.

The p roject w ould h ave a lso included improved lighting and park benches.

Downtown appearance was a major priority of the 2012 Downtown Master Plan.

TxDOT did decide to fund 81 projects, out of 267 applications, totaling $91 million.

No projects were funded inside the Bryan TxDOT district, which includes Rockdale.

Closest project to Rockdale receiving funding was a $1.38-million bicycle-pedestrian corridor along Texas 95 in Taylor.

In other business Thursday the MDD:

• Shifted the site of the third Rockdale gateway sign (western portal on US 79) to a location near Rockdale General Store.

• Received a draft proposal of a Rental Assistance Program designed to provide financial assistance to new businesses during their first months of operation. The finalized draft of the program will be prepared by attorneys.

• Okayed an additional 45 days for Miller-Starnes Chevrolet Buick on the recent facade improvement grant received by the business in connection with its remodeling plans.

• Decided to take a potential problem with foundation settling in the Patterson Civic Center before the city council before proceeding with any renovation program.

• Took no action after an executive session.

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