Wed, 06 Jan 2010 15:20:25 GMT —
"Our sidewalks are a mess. They're inconsistent as they can be, they just look awful," said downtown business owner Steve Ayers.
That's how many business owners in downtown Hannibal feel about their sidewalks. They've wanted improvements for years.
"Some of them are in such bad shape, they're just dangerous," said Ayers.
"The sidewalks in front of my store are all pocked with salt residue that's eaten up the concrete over the years," said downtown business owner Michael O'Cheltree.
That's why news of improvements to city sidewalks and city streets comes as welcoming news. The city wants to repave Main street and its sidewalks in a way that will last more than 15 years. Businesses are hoping for some decorative concrete with some stamping possible. Something that will attract more shoppers and give the local economy a boost.
"The physical appearance of a place is hugely important to whether or not you're gonna have customers,"Ayers said.
"You need to get new things downtown and a good look for the consumers that come here," said O'Cheltree.
But these renovations will not only benefit business owners, they say this project will help the entire city.
"The better we do, the better they do. If we do better, they get more sales tax, it's just good for everyone all the way around," O'Cheltree said.
The city says once plans are in place, there would be a plan so that local shops don't suffer.
"What we can do is limit our construction to small areas at a time. a block or half a block at a time. We want to avoid those big events and get this done when it inconveniences folks the least," Hannibal City Engineer Mark Rees said.
The total cost of the project is expected to cost about $400,000. Many business owners are pitching in to pay more than half of the total cost.