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City of Smithville looks to improve downtown streetscape

Posted: 5:16 PM, Oct 30, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-30 18:17:27-04

SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- If you’re passing downtown Smithville, near the corner of Main and Commercial, you can’t miss Jean’s Flower Shop.

It’s a business that’s been in the area for 33 years. 

Owner Jean Roe knows her community and street. She said the sidewalks, in particular, have been a big safety concern for the elderly. 

“Do they have their balance, are they going to fall, are they going to trip?” Roe asked. “Some people don't even see the bottom step.”

With no railings, Roe said she relies on a nearby lamppost for her stability. 

“We always grab this pole and then go down and cross the street,” Roe said. “It isn't that much that we're handicapped, but when you get to be a little bit older, you need the stability of holding onto something.”

The city is looking at plans to change the downtown’s streetscape. It’s a project that’s been in the works since 2012.

Acting City Administrator Jack Hendrix said the first phase costs roughly $1.5 million to $1.9 million. 

 

“We know going into it we don't have enough to take care of all of it at once,” he said. 

That’s why they’re starting on smaller sections of the project first. 

“It’ll be the intersection of Bridge and Main and then radiating north, south, east and west from there,” Hendrix said. 

It’s a change Roe said she’s ready to see. 

“It makes me know that they care, that they listen to us down here and they're trying to help the situation that we have,” she said. 

Hendrix said the design is not 100 percent complete and they have not gotten the bid plans yet. 

Once the bidding process is complete, Hendrix said that section of the project should take about six to nine months to complete.