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‘Vote in favor’ of Arch St. riverwalk

DEMOPOLIS – The city’s Preservation Commission has voted to endorse the Riverwalk Project along Arch Street as it is written.

The commission becomes the first organization with representation on the ad-hoc Arch Street Committee to offer its full endorsement of the project.

“We authorized Amanda [Smith] to vote in favor of the project when it came up for a vote,” said Will

Baker, the commission’s chairman.

The commission met on Tuesday and took the action.

“In the past what we had done was sent Amanda to the committee and told her to have no position,” he said. “But if everybody had sent their representative with their hands tied, what sort of committee would it be.”

Baker said each commissioner was polled and the vote was unanimous to endorse the project as it was submitted for the Alabama Department of Transportation grant.

That grant will provide a little more than $400,000 to construct the Arch Street Riverwalk and Riverfront Development project. The total estimated cost of the project is about $500,000.

“We’re just trying to do something for the betterment of the community,” Baker said. “We are very aware of the individual feelings and are going to respect those, and we’re going to do everything we can to make the project work for everybody.”

The Preservation Commission is an arm of the city government charged with preserving the historical districts in the city.

Baker said the commission has surveyed historic districts in Demopolis and has its work cut out.

“We want to work hand-in-hand with businesses and individuals and preserve what we’ve got and be a very progressive community. Communities that are preserving history are going forward,” he said.