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Friday, May 9th, 2008

Organizers of Celina's annual Freedom Days footing sidewalks bill

By William Kincaid
A privately funded infrastructure project to add sidewalks at Celina's Lake Shore Park should be completed by the end of next week, said Jeremy Hinton of the city engineer's department.
The organizers of the city's Freedom Days - the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Eagles and Moose, all of Celina - are paying $35,000 for the endeavor that includes several sidewalks, Hinton said.
Concrete contractor Paul Donovan, Celina, was hired by the four groups to connect the three concrete slabs used at the summer entertainment tent and band stage area with a series of 6-foot wide sidewalks.
"They've been doing a great job of keeping Lake Shore Park looking nice," Hinton said about the four clubs. "The city really appreciates their donation. Without that group of people putting this money together, this work would probably not be done."
In addition to the aesthetic and convenience improvements, Hinton said it will provide handicap and wheelchair accessibility. It also will prevent people from walking through the mud.
Also, Hinton said concrete drive approaches will be placed at the park, as well as a new sidewalk on the east side of Ash Street extending north to Versa Pak.
"They're doing quite a bit here," city consultant Kent Bryan said. "I think it will be a nice addition."
Hinton said the four clubs approached the city with their proposal, and he made up the drawings.
The four clubs are the organizers of Freedom Days, the popular Independence Day picnic celebration. The event continues to grow in popularity with a number of new events planned this year, including camping and parking at the Mercer County Fairgrounds with a shuttle bus service to and from events.
All proceeds from Freedom Days go back into the community, the organizers have said.
Additional online story on this date
A former St. Marys auto dealer faces more than 30 years in prison for allegedly scamming area residents out of more than $200,000 and cheating the government. [More]
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