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The Hotel Talisi

Work downtown to begin in new year

By Michael Butler

The downtown district should be seeing improvements in the early part of 2020 thanks to funding from a Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) grant.

"We could've already done the utility lines, but it would look like a war zone down there," Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock said. "We've got to get some paperwork drawn up for the shop owners to give us easments."

Federal funding will provide 80 percent of the $725,000 budgeted for improvements from new sidewalks to pavers, landscaping and lighting.

"The sidewalks will be ADA compliant. There will be wheelchair access. It's going to look nice and neat with cast iron steetlamps on the corners. If you've ever been to Montevallo, Auburn or Opelika, you can tell that they've had the TAPS grant.

"We'll proabably start the utility work in February. Then we'll do the downtown streetscape. After that will come the milling of the road and paving. You're probably looking at getting finished around December of 2020 or January of 2021.

"These things take time. I was reading a quote from Hellen Keller, 'The only thing worse than being blind is having sight with no vision.' People need to learn how to be patient and have some vision, not what direclty affects them but what's better for the town as a whole. It's not going to happen overnight."