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Kingston may have finally found a way to put its long-accumulating state highway funds to good use.
Kingston City Council approved a measure at the July 9 full council meeting authorizing Mayor Troy Beets to apply to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for permission to use more than $300,000 in Surface Transportation Program funds — state funds municipalities receive annually, and which Kingston has been saving for three years now — to pave Kentucky Street.
There’s a hitch in using STP funds, however.
They must be used for projects that involve, or are in some way connected to, TDOT routes or projects.
Kentucky Street presumably meets that standard.
The city tried to use the funds for a planned parking lot expansion in Ladd Park, at the site of the new greenway.
Preliminary indications were that the project would be approved by TDOT, but when the application was made, the agency balked.
It’s unclear exactly why the state backed out after initially indicating some approval, but some local officials speculated that the fact that the parking lot would be serving the Ladd Park boat dock (which is not related to the highway department) as well as the greenway (which is) made TDOT reps rethink their position.
Beets pointed out that with the upcoming construction to widen and improve Hwys. 58 and 70 all the way through their intersection, there is the potential to have the city’s main arteries paved all the way through town, from the Hwy. 70 bridge to Gallaher Road and from the intersection of Hwys/ 58 and 70 to Ladd Landing.
“It’s a great opportunity for Kingston to take the next step,” he said.
In other business:
*Kingston Council adopted a resolution authorizing the city to participate in the Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool Safety Partners Loss Control matching grant program.
This is a reoccurring grant that would reimburse the city up to 50 percent for safety training and safety-related items. This would be the first year of participation for Kingston.