Mt. Sterling downtown revitalization project moves along, crews install new sidewalks

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If you go through downtown Mt. Sterling right now, you’ll see a lot of construction. It’s all part of the downtown revitalization project, which is slowly starting to come together.

There’s visible progress on Main Street, as the first block of storm sewers have been replaced, the curbs are installed and they’re now working to install the sidewalks.

It’s a project businesses along the street said they’re excited for, even if they have to make some adjustments first.

There are signs of progress along Main Street as crews work to install the new sidewalks.

It’s a part of the project Stacee Rohn, owner of Perfectly Imperfect, said she’s waiting for.

“Right now, we have just steps up and in order for anyone who’s in a wheelchair, or can’t make it up the stairs,” Rohn said. “If they want something, a lot of times I meet them outside.”

City officials said part of the project is to fix this problem.

“We’ll be able to have a ramp up to our businesses, which I think will help a lot,” Rohn said.

The project also sparks some concern. Down the street at Brews Coffee Shop, they said although they are excited, the construction is inconvenient.

“We’re definitely worried about the loss of business, a lot of businesses are, so we’re just going to sort of sit and wait,” Brews Owner Rachel Yingling said.

Mt. Sterling City Administrator Vada Yingling said although it’s not ideal to have big machinery and cones all over town, she said it’s going to be worth it.

“It is painful,” Vada Yingling said. “There’s one-lane traffic, takes a little bit longer to get through town, it’s dirty and not as convenient. They can’t park in front of the business they want to go in, but I think in the end, these growing pains will make it worthwhile.”

It’s something business owners said they are keeping in mind.

“Hopefully it’s going to bring more people in to where they can walk around and see the businesses,” Rohn said.

“We’re personally excited about putting a full-sized table out front so people can sit out and enjoy the weather,” Rachel Yingling said.

City officials said they’ll only work on certain sections at a time so they can minimize the impact on businesses.

Vada Yingling said as long as it stays dry the next couple of months, they are on track to be finished by December 13. The city is utilizing 800,000 dollars in bonds to pay for the project. They’re also getting state grant money to pay for the work.

RELATED:

Mt. Sterling to start planning for uptown infrastructure project

Voters in Mt. Sterling to vote for downtown improvement project

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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