By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – Sidewalks bring communities closer together as residents spend more time walking, seeing more of their neighborhoods and neighbors.
Smooth and well-maintained sidewalks also contribute to improved fitness and health when people walk more.
The CARE Foundation in Corinth is promoting the benefits good sidewalks can bring with a grant program to help repair sidewalks through designated funds.
Homeowners with sidewalks that need rehabilitation can qualify for a grant that pays 60 percent of the repair cost, said CARE Foundation Executive Director Mona Lisa Grady.
“The whole reason behind it is extreme need,” Grady said. “Tourism brings people out walking in town, as well as physical fitness, so sidewalks are getting a lot more use. However, many sidewalks are broken and extremely dangerous, so this is a motivation and incentive for homeowners to get them repaired.”
Many times homeowners are not aware sidewalks are the homeowner’s responsibility, not the city’s, Grady said. The foundation launched the program three years ago and since then has repaired about 100 miles of sidewalks. About 10 projects are underway now since the new funding was announced.
“We’ll award grants until the funds are depleted,” Grady said. “They were so pleased with the success of the previous round of projects that they decided to fund the program again.”
Requirements to qualify for funding include:
• The sidewalk must be parallel to a city street.
• It must be a residential property with an existing sidewalk that needs repair to a minimum of 40 feet and a maximum of 100 feet.
• The program will fund 60 percent and the homeowner 40 percent of the cost.
• Applications are available from the executive director at (662) 284-4858.
“We’ve been very pleased with the contractor’s work, and if a homeowner wants work done on a longer sidewalk segment than the grant covers, they can make arrangements directly with the contractor and pay for the additional section 100 percent,” Grady said.