City Council Looks For Further Study On Placement Of Oak Street Sidewalks Improvements

After complaints from a local businessman over the designs of a new, wider sidewalk along Oak Street, the Mt. Carmel City Council tabled final action on the project for at least two weeks.

The proposal calls for the construction of the six-foot-wide sidewalks from 3rd Street to 9th Street on the west side of the Oak Street. It’s the placement of the sidewalk that drew the ire of Rick Andrews who owns two businesses along the proposed site. Andrews’ complaints came during a public hearing on the topic yesterday afternoon at City Hall.

David Savage of the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission says there’s a clear need for the project…

But, Andrews was adamant in his opposition saying building the sidewalk on the west side of Oak would pose a safety hazard for pedestrians and bicyclists. He said up to 100 semi-trucks a day access his bulk fuel plant and that he stands to lose revenue if the project proceeds as designed.

Engineer Austin Ridgley of HLR said there’s not enough room on the east side of the street because of power poles and residences.

Commissioners agreed to proceed with the project but check into the plans further and make a decision on the design at some point in the future. The city will use $395,000 from the defunct revolving loan fund to pay for the bulk of the project with the city chipping in the remaining $5,800.