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Officials Working on Plan for a Safety Grant at Skinner Road School

The grant is administered through the state DOT.

Municipal and school system officials are working with the state Department of Transportation to formulate a plan for a safety grant of nearly a half-million dollars for Skinner Road School.

The grant is part of the Safe Routes to School program, Skinner Road Principal Matthew Wlodarczyk said. He said the school is on "the short list" to receive $491,470.

Last month, Sharon Okoye, the state's Safe Routes to School coordinator and Neil Patel and and Ken Lussier from the DOT met with Wlodarczyk, Superintendent of Schools Mary Conway, Town Engineer Terry McCarthy and  David Gooch from the town's engineering department. It was the first requirement for the disbursement of the grant, Wlodarczyk said.

In the Summer of 2011, the Safe Routes to School Committee of Skinner Road School, consisting of parents Shireen Rhoades and Charlie Chatterton, Wlodarczyk and school nurse Judi Manfre applied to the DOT for the grant.

Safety improvements on and near the Skinner Road School campus have been ongoing for years.

"Thanks go to all the hard work of the parents, staff, and various town officials, including Chief (James) Kenny of the Vernon Police Department, Bob Kleinhans, the director of public works, and Bruce Dinnie, the director of parks and Recreation," Wlodarczyk said. "The work has led to significant improvements for safety around the Skinner Road community, including conducting “Walk to School Wednesdays” bimonthly with all students walking to school, while encouraging healthy lifestyles, are well known and appreciated."

Wlodarczyk said a public information meeting will be scheduled to present more details of the plan related to the grant.

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