• Stephen Peterson, Managing Editor

Council approves sidewalk plan

MIDWAY - The city council on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve a resolution establishing a cost-sharing plan that would use city funds to help property owners repair or replace deteriorating sidewalks in town. Council member Kaye Nita Gallagher abstained from voting. The plan consists of the city compiling a prioritized list of those sidewalks in the worst condition and contacting the owners of the properties that abut the sidewalks with an offer to pay up to $1,000 toward the cost of repairing or replacing the sidewalk. Money from $27,000 the city has budgeted for sidewalk repair would be used to fund the cost-sharing plan. Originally, the resolution set the sharing limit at $500, but the measure was amended to raise that figure to $1,000 at the urging of council members Bruce Southworth and Libby Warfield, who worried that some people would not be able to afford repairs without a higher share of the cost being borne by the city. Under the terms of the resolution, those property owners who refuse the cost-sharing offer would be ineligible to participate in any similar future plan for a period of seven years. Public restroom Midway Renaissance President Jo Blease came before the council to get a sense of whether members would support - in principle - the renaissance group's investigation into the possibility of constructing a public restroom in downtown Midway. It would be for the use of people who are visiting downtown Midway but are not customers of businesses, such as restaurants, that have restrooms available for their patrons. Warfield noted that she started a business in Midway several decades ago, and one complaint that was frequently raised was the lack of a public restroom for those who were in town to walk around and enjoy the small town ambience. Blease said there are several possible locations where such a restroom might be built, but no consensus has been reached within the group. Council member Dan Roller wondered if the Midway Merchants Association was interested in such a project. Blease said that renaissance member Kenny Smith also leads the merchants' association, and that group is definitely interested. The council voted to offer its support, but Mayor Grayson Vandegrift noted that the expression of support did not necessarily mean that, should plans for a public restroom become firm, the city will be able to provide any funding.

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