Safe Routes to School – Harding Avenue Elementary – An application for $500,000 to fund sidewalk and trail improvements that will facilitate safe walking and biking to Harding Avenue Elementary School was submitted December 28, 2009 to VDOT. The projects were identified by the 2009 Safe Routes to School Committee that developed the School Travel Plan for Harding Avenue Elementary. This committee included staff from a number of Town departments, as well as staff of the Montgomery County Public School system and area residents. Last year, $267,000 was received by the Town under this program to build sidewalks around Gilbert Linkous Elementary School. Those sidewalks are scheduled for construction this summer. Results on the Harding Avenue Elementary grant application will be announced in May, 2010.

Public Works Crews responded to winter weather this past week. A night and morning crew began work Thursday evening to salt the roads for the morning commute. Additionally, due to freezing temperatures, utility crews have had to respond to an increased number of water line breaks and frozen meters. To prevent these occurrences, please remember to maintain the heat in your home at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Christmas tree collection is available to all Town of Blacksburg Refuse and Recycling customers. Collection will begin January 4 and continue through the first two weeks of January. Trees that are collected will be chipped, and used as an alternate fuel source.

Christmas Tree Collection Guidelines

* Place your cut tree at the curb before 7:00 a.m. on Monday, January 11 to ensure pickup and trees and greenery must be free of all decorations and wire

This month, the Public Works department will begin the removal of several pine trees in the Westview Cemetery to accommodate an expansion of cemetery plots into the area previously used for community garden space by the YMCA at Virginia Tech. This work is being conducted in accordance with the approved Westview Cemetery master plan.

Christiansburg bus service is off to a great start. I will post a review entitled “Hat’s off the Mayor Ballengee and Christiansburg Town Council” this afternoon.

(Please remember that some of these updates are taken directly from various town reports. I don’t want to take credit for someone else’s writing!)