Ackerman city leaders consider downtown development plan

CHOCTAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- City leaders in Ackerman are considering a downtown revitalization project.

The plan would replace crooked and narrow paths with easily accessible sidewalks.

If board members approve the plan, downtown businesses will benefit.

Before any construction can begin,3 board members must approve.

“We have issues on our sidewalks,” said Mayor Tim Cutts.

Cracks and dips.

Ackerman Mayor Tim Cutts says these are just a few of the problems citizens face downtown.

A revitalization project to build a new sidewalk will improve accessibility.

“We have a budget of $1,200,000. Right now, we have the opportunity to accept $200,000 from the legislative session. Those funds are for these sidewalks and we actually need another $138,000 to do so,” said Cutts.

The city put $18,000 towards the project.

If the board votes yes, $338,000 of their goal will be met.

“We are sitting with $120,000 grant from two years ago that we can use on these sidewalks. $200,000 that we could use on these sidewalks and we that puts us within $138,000 goal,” said Cutts.

Cutts says if they don’t make the improvements, someone could get hurt.

“We do have cracks and we are non-ADA compliant. If we chose not to ignore, then we do have a liability situation,” said Cutts.

The change would be a welcome one for customers who visit downtown eatery Pap’s place.

“It would really be nice to re-do our sidewalks and to make the sidewalks easier for the elderly to coming in now. They’re so high up and it’ll be nice to be able to flatten them down some,” said owner Cherrie Salley.

Owner Cherrie Salley says several customers have difficulties making their way up the stairs.

“Fix them and make them more wheelchair accessible. I do hope the board they will vote yes tonight to help fix up our sidewalks,” said Salley.

“We have to get this to them tomorrow or we will not receive the $200,000 and in that light, it’s hard to believe that we will ever try to address this issue any time soon,” said Cutts.

$450,000 dollars is needed before development plans can begin.

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