Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced three grants totaling $585,517 to fund phase II of the Pedestrian Sidewalk Project in Savannah, improve the Hank DeBerry Complex, and make Savannah's City Hall more energy efficient.
"These types of projects strengthen our communities," Haslam said. "Increasing energy efficiencies saves taxpayer dollars. Making our cities and towns more pedestrian friendly and improving our recreation areas improves the lives of Tennesseans. We want Tennessee to continue to be the very best place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality."
A $243,913 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund phase II of the Pedestrian Sidewalk Project in Savannah, including construction of sidewalks on the east side of Tennessee Street from the southwest corner of the new Tennessee Street Park to Main Street. Sidewalks will also be installed along the north side of Main Street from the downtown district to Hogohegee Drive, which will connect the historic Cherry Street Mansion and the Tennessee River Overlook.
The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.
"Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects," TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. "This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development."
A $250,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for Hardin County and the city of Savannah will be used at the Hank DeBerry Complex to remove existing poles and fixtures at the ball fields and make upgrades to underground wiring and electrical panels to accommodate new energy efficient lights.
A $91,604 Clean Energy Grant from TDEC will be used to make Savannah's City Hall more energy efficient by installing energy efficient ceiling lights, replacing 10 HVAC units with an energy efficiency of SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) 13, reconstructing a 4,600 square foot section of flat roof with energy saving materials to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling purposes, and constructing vestibules at the main three entrances to City Hall. The total estimated annual energy usage reduction is estimated to be 27,601 kWh, which is equivalent to 19.5 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. The estimated yearly savings for the upgrades will be approximately $3,126.
"From land acquisitions for new municipal parks to renovating and improving existing facilities, these grants help expand recreational opportunities for Tennessee citizens," TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. "We are always looking for ways to promote environmental awareness and energy efficiency, and these investments in our local communities help improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans."
The Local Park and Recreation Fund is a 23-year-old state program that provides local governments with resources to support development and improvements to local parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities. Grant recipients were selected through competitive scoring with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.
Clean Tennessee Energy Grants were established by the Haslam administration in 2012 to fund energy efficiency projects for local governments and municipalities, utilities, and other private and public organizations across Tennessee. These grants support projects designed to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency and create cost savings.
Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Savannah) represent Hardin County in the Tennessee General Assembly.