02/25/04 — Fremont sidewalk work begins after festival

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Fremont sidewalk work begins after festival

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 25, 2004 1:58 PM

FREMONT -- New sidewalks on the first block of East Main Street will not be constructed until after the annual Daffodil Festival.

The sidewalks are part of the $431,000 project that includes renovating Town Hall, placing wires underground and installing new street lamps.

Sam Sasser, the Fremont-based general contractor, said Tuesday night that the sidewalks, wiring and street lamps would not be started until after the March 27 festival.

Outgoing Town Administrator Tom Barnes said the three phases of the difficult project needed to be coordinated. He said one side of the street would be done and then the other side would be completed.

The town board picked a red-bricklike pattern, called London Cobblestone, for the cement sidewalk. The design was smaller than the other two samples. Sasser said it would be easier to cut if repairs had to be made to water lines or underground wiring.

Barnes also displayed a plaque that will be installed on the Town Hall wall with the names of former Mayor Andy Evans, the six board members and Barnes, who served when the project was started.

The names of three Rural Development staffers who helped finance the project also were included.

Barnes also showed an addition to the plaque that will include Sasser's name. The contractor thanked Barnes for the recognition, but he, in turn, credited his employees.

Barnes honored

Barnes, who is retiring Friday, was honored with a plaque, a gift card and refreshments from the town board.

"I really enjoyed working in Fremont," Barnes said. "It's a fine town with fine people in it. I wouldn't take anything for living and working here."

Barnes will work two days a week for up to three months as a consultant, and the board will pay his health insurance for six months and his travel expenses and give him the use of a laptop computer.

Mayor Devone Jones was named interim town administrator.

On the recommendation of Neil Mallory, the board's adviser, the aldermen also agreed to reopen the advertising process for Barnes' successor, if none is found from the applications that were received by the Feb. 6 deadline.