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Linden beautification project progressing

Linden city officials say residents and businesses should begin to notice rapid progress in a slow moving downtown beatification project.

Linden’s City Administrator Cheryl Hall told city council members Tuesday the work is to be completed by the end of the year.

Hall requested the council approve paying two invoices connected to the project to Northwest Supply. The council voted to pay two payments — $83,409 and $28,7873 for work mostly along Highway 43 to improve the drainage system and sidewalks.

The money will be reimbursed to the city from a $300,000 transportation grant for the project. The city is putting up $60,000.

Hall explained to the council that the city has to pay the invoices them wait for the canceled check to come back before sending it to the state for reimbursement.

So far, the project has made bulldozers and backhoes an everyday sight in front of some downtown businesses in Linden and has spent about $130,171.40, but the results are starting to show.

“Some of the areas already looking better are in front of Langley’s and Papa Foods,” said Linden Mayor Mitzi Gates. “The curb in front of Dollar General has been restructured to look better as well.”

These business owners have been great with being patient with us,” she said. “”In the end I think it will really look good. It’s a great opportunity for Linden to make a positive impression on people coming to our city.”

Scheduled to be complete by December, the project is slated to be completed by the end of the month — however, with a sluggish start in the construction and drainage improvement phase, a lot still waits to be completed.

Once the sidewalk renovations are complete, 150 crepe myrtles will be planted along the city entrances.

“Wheelchair-accessible ramps will be created where needed, or existing ones repaired, and wrought-iron hanging baskets and planters will be added along the sidewalks,” Gates said.

Gates said the area directly in front of Papa’s Foods would have the most noticeable change.

“I want us to look for more ways to find opportunities to make sure people who come through Linden on these well-traveled highways get the picture of what Linden really is,” she said.

“We want our city to look as charming as the people really are. It does matter, especially when trying to attract new business growth. No matter where an industry locates in our county, it benefits Linden.”