Town approves walk to school day plan

At their September meeting on Thursday the Ennis Town Commission discussed plans to observe National Walk to School Day on Oct. 3 with Renee Lemon of Madison Byways.

The walk route begins at Lions Club Park and proceeds down Main Street up to the school. Lemon requested that parking between the park and North 3rd Street by the Nearly New store be closed using traffic cones during the early morning walk to school. The cones would help ensure that the kids were separated from traffic because there is currently no sidewalk on that section of road, Lemon said.

The short walk is scheduled for shortly after 7 a.m. on that Wednesday, and Lemon said she already filled out the applicable closure permits to be approved by the Montana Department of Transportation. Since the walk is a school event it is covered under the school’s insurance, Lemon added, and volunteer crossing guards will be present to help control traffic.

Commissioner Becky Vujovich made the motion to approve Madison Byways request to cone a section of the town from Lions Club Park to approximately the Nearly New where the sidewalk is missing, and the motion carried.

Following the discussion Lemon presented an update on plans to pour concrete for the Lions Club Park connection trail to the existing sidewalk on Main Street. Advertisements requesting bids for construction went out at the beginning of the month, and Lemon said the Madison County commissioners will open bids on Oct. 2 and make a recommendation to the Montana Department of Transportation.

The project must go through a federal and state approval process because it is funded with Community Transportation Enhancement Program money, Lemon explained, in addition to contributions from the Madison Valley Women’s Club, the Lions Club and the Town of Ennis.  Lemon added that Madison Byways needed to raise another $1,000 for the project from the community and local businesses, and she estimated that construction might begin mid October depending on weather.

Vujovich took the opportunity to thank Madison Byways for their effort with this project.

“That’s a lot of money that was raised and a lot of work that went into it that’s going to improve the town’s infrastructure,” she said.

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