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City takes on pesky cracked sidewalks
Inmate workers were busy Monday rehabilitating the sidewalk on Richmond Street in Brunswick behind the building that will become the home of South Coast Bank and Trust and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce at 1500 Newcastle St.

The building was formerly occupied by Coastal Bank of Georgia.

The inmates are from the Bacon County Detention Center.

The work is part of a major year-long sidewalk repair project funded by proceeds generated by the 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

For Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson, it's a first.

"I've lived here 16 years and I don't know of any other work than some patching work... that's been done on Richmond Street," Thompson said.

More than $322,000 has been spent out of the city's $900,000 sidewalk budget under the fifth installment of SPLOST.

"We sort of periodically come up with a list of sidewalks for that quarter to be done," said City Manager Bill Weeks.

Sidewalks on Reynolds, Mansfield, Monck, Grant and Union streets are among those that have been repaired.

Because of a shrinking city budget, maintenance had been deferred, allowing sidewalks to fall further into disrepair.

The extensive root systems of live oak trees have taken their toll, causing concrete to crack.

"They've gotten into various states of disrepair," Weeks said. "Our concern is the safety and wise investment of SPLOST 5. Using the prison labor for these we can make our SPLOST dollars go further."

Mayor Thompson said he wants to revive strolling throughout Brunswick.

* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.

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