Ardmore Development Group To Help Replace Sidewalks For Free - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ardmore Development Group To Help Replace Sidewalks For Free

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ARDMORE, OK -- Replacing a sidewalk is a task that's hard on both the back and the wallet. But a group in Ardmore is willing to get that project started, and it won't cost you a penny.

Take a walk down Stanley and Bixby Avenues and most of the sidewalks are in fairly decent shape.

But some spots, not so much.

Huge pieces of concrete use to be part of a sidewalk now they're just another safety hazard along Bixby Avenue. Neighbors say they move out into the street to walk and jog but that's not as safe as a smooth sidewalk.

"I have to walk because I've had a stroke and I have to walk in the street because the sidewalks are not convenient for me to walk in," said Mike McComber, who lives along Bixby Avenue.

A community development group called the Friday Morning Coffee Club in Ardmore is providing homeowners a way to fix the problem at no cost to them.

"It's better for their health, it's better for safety, and it's just a lot of fun," said Julie Aultman, project leader for the group's "Walk Ardmore" campaign.

The group has agreed on special pricing with the city's sidewalk reimbursement program to repair or replace connecting sidewalks along main thoroughfares.

The group will pay the up front costs to replace a sidewalk if homeowners agree to send the reimbursement check sent by the city back to the club.

Neighbors up and down the avenues like the idea.

"A couple years ago I was approached to have this done and the city was just going to reimburse us for half the cost," said Thomas Vernon, who has live on Bixby Avenue for five years.

Aultman says the group's main focus is to reconnect Stanley Avenue, Bixby Avenue, and C Street Southwest near downtown.

"As you can see mine the sidewalks now there's a lot of trip hazards so I think it'll get people out," said Vernon.

"Being pedestrian friendly, being walkable, being bike-able that's the number one thing that experts say makes your city better and makes people want to live there," said Aultman.

Aultman says the group will initially pay costs through donations and fundraisers but hopes the project will become self-sufficient through reimbursement funds.