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Environment

Contentious sidewalk ordinance in Jonesboro gets first look in council meeting

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The Jonesboro City Council took its first look at a new sidewalk ordinance Tuesday night.   Alderman Joe Haffner says the new ordinance that he supports would require that all future development in Jonesboro have sidewalks.  

Current regulations state that only those who build commercial projects include sidewalks, but the new law being considered would require that sidewalks be part of any future building project.  Supporters for the ordinance say it is a measure that would increase health, lead to an eventual decrease in future medical costs, and bring in new people to the city. 

Those against the new ordinance say that are not against sidewalks.  They say they are concerned about connectivity issues in Jonesboro in the new ordinance.  There are also some concerns about the language of the law. 

The council will consider this at the next two council meetings before voting on the new ordinance.  The city of Jonesboro currently spends between $250,000 and $500,000 a year on placing sidewalks in town.  The money is a match from state and federal grants.