Fort Payne City Council seeks funding for downtown sidewalk renovations

FORT PAYNE, Ala. - The streets of Fort Payne are in need of a facelift and the city council is seeking funds to do just that. "We've applied for an $800,000 grant, which will be $640,000 from the state and $160,000 from us," said Mayor Larry Chesser.

The goal is to start in the middle of downtown. "3rd Street South to about 8th Street North to replace, tear them up, change them. Maybe even make them a little wider," said Mayor Chesser.

On top of renovating the sidewalks, the city will be replacing the old water lines in the middle of the street with new water lines underneath the new sidewalks. "Every year we're digging up streets. The state comes in and they'll pave a little section here and a little section there. By the next year, if it's not bad where they paved it, it is somewhere else."

Mayor Chesser said the cosmetic cleanup of downtown is important because it is a major hub for visitors in DeKalb County. "Of course it'll make it a lot nicer for one thing. Any time you're in the middle of the street doing work that doesn't help your tourism situation." They're hoping that these improvements will help with the growth of the downtown area this upcoming year.