The city of Paris has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department which will be used to do an asphalt overlay of several streets this year, according to Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers.

The grant funds are coming from proceeds of a half-cent sales tax passed by voters in 2012. Some of the proceeds of that tax are designated for city streets that connect to existing state highways.

Using grant funds, Rogers said the city will lay new asphalt on North Fifth from Walnut (Highway 22) to the city limits, Pine Street from Elm (Highway 109) to 10th street and Maple from Elm to 10th street. The city will take bids on the projects on April 16. Any cost above $250,000 will be paid by the city, Rogers said.

Rogers added that work will begin within 30 days after bids are opened.

Rogers also said the city normally spends between $60,000 and $100,000 on street work in a year.

"This is a huge project compared to what the city has been able to do in one year before," Rogers said. "It’s really exciting to do what amounts to three years of work in one year. It’s a major project for the city."

Rogers said the city applied for the grant last year and was notified of acceptance on March 13.

However, before the work can be done, the city is going to widen Pine Street to 20 feet from 18 feet and fill in ditches on both sides in order to improve drainage, Roger said.

"We want to get that project done before doing any overlay work on Pine Street," he said. "That project will probably cost the city $100,000. That’s the amount already budgeted for street and drainage work. We’re going to get bids on that project as soon as possible. We’ll probably ask for bids in a couple of weeks."