San Augustine’s sidewalk renovation: Handicap ramps beneficial to downtown business owners

San Augustine’s sidewalk renovation: Handicap ramps beneficial to downtown business owners

SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas (KTRE) - The city of San Augustine is putting the finishing touches on a quarter-million dollar grant to improve the downtown area. As KTRE’s T’Ebonie Tanner reports business owners say the sidewalk project is an improvement to the city’s landscape.

The sidewalk project is almost complete—and mayor Leroy Hughes says the plan is to make the city of San Augustine a more accessible place.

“San Augustine is kind of a retirement town and a lot of our citizens are of age. We have to keep them safe. We try to apply things that will benefit them and keep them safe, especially when they are on the sidewalks. It can prevent them from falling,” said Hughes.

The city has renovated a few sidewalks downtown, put up new handrails and added handicap accessible ramps. Business owner Joseph Consford says it is beneficial.

“It is very good for handicap people and people in wheelchairs, they can have access to our stores. Before that, our store steps were built in 1920. There was just no way that somebody could get here in a wheelchair. I built a plywood ramp to get on, but now we don’t have to use that anymore,” said Consford, owner of Hardware on the Square.

Another business next door used to have high stairs. Consford says it was difficult for elderly people to enter the building.

“It was almost impossible. If people had to do business at Statefarm, a lot of times Mike had to go out to their cars to sign papers and things. People could not get in. And now, I know that is really going to help Mike. People can actually access his office,” said Consford.

The city is adding more handrails on the opposite side of the museum theatre, as well.

“It is good that people can come here and take walks around the square. I mean they can use the sidewalks. If they want to walk with people that are not able to go up and down the stairs, then they are able to do that now too,” Consford said. “They can start all the way at the other end of the square, come down here and use the sidewalks the whole way. This is something that has never happen before in San Augustine.”

Hughes says the city of San Augustine has applied for a 3.4-million-dollar project grant through the General Land Office, in hopes to improve water plants in the community.

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