Citizens and city improving “curb appeal”

We’ve told you about funding issues for local governments in the past. But one Wabash Valley city has found a way to improve their safety and curb appeal, by working with its citizens.

Perry Snapp has lived in his house in Sullivan for around 40 years. The only thing that’s been here longer than him is the sidewalk that wraps around his house; one that hadn’t been replaced since the 1930s.

“It’s sort of unsafe,” Snapp said. “Actually somebody could step on it and then sprain an ankle and it was ugly really.”

If you look around Sullivan, most of the sidewalks are in poor shape and with cuts to city budgets, there’s not much money to redo them.

But the city came up with a plan.

“Paths to progress is a program I conceived about 2008 to try to help the citizens of Sullivan make safer pathways, sidewalks for their everyday use,” Brian Pound, Sullivan’s Building Commissioner said.

Here’s how it works: the homeowner pays for the concrete and the city does the rest.

“We wreck out the sidewalks using our equipment and our labor. We haul off the debris and then our people form up the concrete. They pour it, they finish it, they wreck it out then we go to the next neighbor,” Pound said.

Last year the combined effort made a difference for 10 homeowners. This year 5 have been done, with 60 more on the list.

Except for Perry, he had his done last year. This spring he’s enjoying touching up his yard that runs up against a brand new walk way.

“Oh it improved my value, plus I’ve had a lot of compliments on it. It’s actually a fine deal you can’t really get it done this cheap,” Perry smiled saying.

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