The projects will utilize Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funding to add sidewalks, curbs and gutters to Summer Street, King Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
"I'm elated that we're going forward and enhancing our community. The curb and gutters and street widening that will include the sidewalks will help in lots of different ways as far as stormwater is concerned, making our town more attractive and we just look forward to the project going forward," Mayor Evan King said.
Concerns arose from residents of Summer Street over the reduction of their yard space. Many of the historical homes in downtown Adairsville lie in close proximity to the road with initial plans bringing sidewalks to the doorstep of some residents.
Those in support and opposition spoke several times about the issue in the previous months until final blueprints were drawn and the vote came earlier this month to solicit bids for construction. That motion died for lack of a second at the regular meeting, after which councilman Allen Towe called for a special meeting to finish discussion on the matter.
"It gave the council an opportunity to sit down together and talk a little more about it and not be rushed. And we realized that it was a good idea, a good thing for all citizens," Towe said, adding that the safety of pedestrians played a large role in their decision.
The vote passed Monday after reassurance was given from the engineers handling the project that consolations had been included in the final draft for a 4-foot sidewalk on Summer Street instead of the suggested 5-foot sidewalks, which will be used on both King Street and MLK Drive. Efforts were also taken to ensure that power poles would be placed between the sidewalk and curb as opposed to further in a resident's yard.
"I believe that the process went well and I appreciate the patience of the citizens on Summer Street, and I believe that the citizens I have spoken with who were in opposition maybe at one time that now they're okay with the 4-foot and they're okay now that they know that the poles are not going to be moved toward their house and that they're not going to have much encroachment other than just the 4-foot sidewalk and the grassy area," Towe said.
City Engineer Bob Peeples estimated that construction should begin in late December or early January, with the total length of the build-out lasting about six months.