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A 'wonderful program' for Peru

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FINISHING UP: Workers put the finishing touches on a section of new sidewalk in front of the Literary Aid Society on Canal Street on July 5.
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COMING SOON: Sharon Mygrant looks at the badly cracked sidewalk in front of her West Sixth Street home on Monday, July 1, 2019. Mygrant will soon be one of the first city residents to have her sidewalk replaced with the help of a grant program offered by the city of Peru.
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HELP NEEDED: The sidewalk in front of Mygrant’s home as seen on Monday.

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

Residents and businesses hoping to clean up the front of their properties are beginning to avail themselves of help that the city of Peru is offering.

City officials say they are hopeful that others will follow as they begin to see the results of what is being called the “sidewalk grant program.”

“Basically it is a match for the replacement of the concrete,” Mayor Gabriel Greer told the Tribune on Monday.

The help, which became available earlier this year, is the result of money the city has set aside to fix sidewalks that are cracked or deteriorated to the point that they are unsightly or even dangerous. There is $35,000 set aside for the repair residential sidewalks and another $20,000 for commercial properties in the downtown area.

The city is offering to pay up to $500 for new concrete in front of a home ($1,000 for a corner lot – and even $1,500 in some cases) and up to $5,000 for a downtown commercial sidewalk.

They will also provide the labor to pull up and dispose of the old sidewalk.

“So we are doing that part for free,” Greer said.

There is already fresh concrete in front of the Literary Aid Society on Canal Street as a result of the program and others are getting close to having their sidewalks repaired too, according to Jerry Santen, the city’s building commissioner.

One of those is Sharon Mygrant, who moved into her home on West Sixth Street in January.

“They told me about the program,” she said Monday.

Mygrant, who said it was pretty difficult to get snow shoveled off her badly cracked sidewalk this winter, told the Tribune that the matching funds sounded like a good deal to her and has recommended it to her neighbors as well.

Work in front of her house is scheduled to start soon.

“I think it is a wonderful program that they are doing for Peru,” she said.

Santen said that once people catch wind of a few success stories, there will likely be more to follow.

“I think once people see this it’s going to start to take off,” he said.