Peru applies for Parkside School sidewalk grant, makes plans to buy 43 trees

Sidewalk grant pegged for west end of Peru

The city of Peru hopes to construct a sidewalk from Parkside School to Sycamore Lake Subdivision if the Illinois Department of Transportation awards it a Safe Routes to School Grant.

City Director of Engineering and Zoning Eric Carls said the project would help students from nearby residential areas have better access to the school.

“It’s obviously a safety concern for us,” Carls said. “We want to provide a safe route for kids to walk to and from school from our residential areas on the west end of town.”

The Safe Routes to School Program is provided through federal funds and awards yearly grants to municipalities seeking to complete infrastructure projects that create safer ways for children to walk or bike to school.

The program awards funding at an 80% reimbursement with a 20% local match with a maximum limit of $250,000 per project. The application process for this grant opportunity opened Aug. 16 and runs through Sept. 30.

After filing its application the city will have to wait to find out if it will be a recipient before possible construction gets underway.

City wants to buy, plant trees

Also discussed during Monday’s council meeting was the intent to buy and install 43 trees for various locations around the city.

The plan would be to plant 38 trees that are 2 1/2 to 3 in trunk width about $300 a piece and five mature trees with 4 1/2 to 5 inch trunk widths at about a $1,000 price tag. The trees would be purchased through Peru Greenhouse.

While no decision was made Monday, Alderman Mike Sapienza requested the topic be put on the agenda for the Sept. 27 meeting, with the intent of approval.

Baker Lake, Centennial Park and Washington Park are all planned to receive a number of the new trees if approved moving forward.

“We are also going to look at some trees in maturity too,” Sapienza said. “At the rate we’re going in about 20 years we won’t have any oaks in Centennial Park.”

The final locations of the trees will be discussed and planned over the next few weeks as those around the city will find, what they believe, will be the best locations for Peru moving forward.

Director of Parks, Recreation and Special Events Adam Thorson also added some of the trees would be planned to be used to help shape the disc golf course at Baker Lake.

“We’d like to make it a little more challenging,” Thorson said. “Right now it’s wide open.”

The city also would like to use some of the trees to help provide some shade for visitors to the newly constructed Centennial Park bandshell.

Jayce Eustice

Covering local government, breaking news and whatever is thrown at me for the La Salle News Tribune