A citywide network of sidewalks took a big step closer to reality Tuesday when Richmond Hill City Council voted unanimously to commit $400,000 to fund their construction.
The initial phase of the project starts with a sidewalk from the rec fields on Timber Trail to Harris Trail and then to the schools.
The city will get plans for that phase at its Sept. 2 meeting.
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said it was important to get kids off the streets for safety's sake.
"I don't want to see another kid walking or riding a bike on those roads," he said.
If council members approve the plan for the first leg, the work will go out for bid and work could begin soon afterward, perhaps within months.
It's the latest step in a plan to use sidewalks and walking trails to link various neighborhoods to schools and recreation areas and make Richmond Hill more pedistrian friendly and safer for kids, officials say. Ultimately, it is expected to connect much of the city.
"This is something all of us on this council, all five of us, have been adament about," councilman Russ Carpenter said.
The money will come from Special Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST, funds, and the $400,000 is expected to fund the bulk of the work.
The actual sidewalks are apparently still in the planning stages and have yet to be designed, and there was some discussion among council members over the width and aesthetics of the project.
Still, councilmembers seemed eager to get the plan put into motion.
"I expect us to be pouring concrete before the end of the year," Fowler said.