Florence sidewalks concern council, community
The disrepair of Florence’s city sidewalks drew concern from both councilmen and citizens during Monday night’s city council meeting.
“I have an active business, and people are frequenting my sidewalk,” said Sara Dawson, of Prairie Oaks Designs. “They’re actually coming in to complain, so there is a complaint here, while there may not be at some other sidewalks.”
The sidewalk ordinance is phrased in a way that can provide loopholes, but avoiding selective enforcement is important, mayor Bob Gayle said.
“If we pick on one them we have to pick on all of them,” he said. “If you want to enforce one building’s sidewalks then you have to for all buildings.”
If Florence started by improving curbs and gutters, which are owned by the city, might inspire business owners to improve their sidewalks, which are owned by business owners, councilman Trayce Warner said.
“The city can, and should, do curbs and gutters, and we do have, a fund available for doing that,” Trayce Warner said. “We don’t have enough money to do everybody’s sidewalks, even if we were reimbursed.”
If the ordinance was enforced, and the city helped with curbing, it could convince business owners to look for financial assistance from charitable organizations, Dawson said.
“If you guys are paying for curbing, people can go out there to ask for grants and help to get this done,” she said. “If it’s an ordinance, it has to be done. We figure out a way to get it paid for.”
Last modified Sept. 19, 2019