The Centerville City Council this week approved a jointly funded project to pave and improve a short stretch of Fourth West near Reading Elementary School.

The city approved bids to pave and install curb, gutter and sidewalk on the east side of Fourth West, along with some fencing, to improve access to the school for pedestrians and vehicles.The project, while originally not high on the city's priority list, became controversial last summer when parents of school children in the neighborhood began pressuring the council to pave the street.

The school, on 2025 North St., just east of Fourth West, has only a single street for vehicle and pedestrian access. Students walking to the school either use Main Street or walk though the field where Fourth West will be built.

With cars and buses using the single street into the school to pick up and drop off students and then turn around, traffic congestion created a hazard, according to a petition submitted last fall to the council.

The council responded that the district created the problem and should help pay to solve it. The district reluctantly agreed and matching appropriations of $24,000 from the city and the district will be used to fund the project.