Spanish Fort city leaders talked at their April 1 city council work session about increasing walkability on State Highway 225 by possibly adding more sidewalks to the area.
The city had received a grant for the potential project and Mayor Mike McMillan said the city needed to study which parts of the area would be most successful for the project.
“Some terrain just doesn’t lend itself to walkability,” McMillan said. “I’m worried there could be some long-term liability issues with this project for the city.”
McMillan said he would like to see the first phase start from The Woodlands subdivision to Spanish Fort Elementary.
“I think that part would be doable,” McMillan said. “The problem areas are north of that with elevation and topography issues, as well as erosion issues. We’d have a harder time on that part. I’m completely for sidewalks anywhere we can do it, but some topography just doesn’t lend itself to sidewalks.”
Councilman Bill Menas agreed.
“The slope isn’t going to change five years from now, so if we get another grant, we’re going to be having the same conversation and the same problems,” Menas said.
Councilman J.R. Smith said he’d like to see the city move forward with what it could.
“If you’ve got a limited amount of grant money, let’s take that and do this portion of it we can,” Smith said. “I’m just as passionate about the sidewalk as anyone, and if I can get someone else’s money to build it, I’m happy to do what we can with it.”
Councilman Bobby Fortenberry agreed with Smith.
“Let’s do what we can now and, hopefully, in the future, the rest of the project won’t cost as much,” Fortenberry said.
Councilwoman Mary Brabner said she was in favor of doing as much as possible with the funding the city had for the project.
“It’s one thing we’d be giving back that people can actually use,” Brabner said.
Officials said the city would approach ALDOT with the ideas proposed and see what the department said.