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STOCK_Griffith Town Hall

Griffith Town Hall is pictured. Residents can vote to secede from Calumet Township today. 

GRIFFITH — With virtually all of the town's streets and alleys getting face-lifts over the past few years, the Town Council is now moving to sidewalks.

The council wants to expand its sidewalk replacement program, said Council President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd.

He said there are 105 miles of sidewalk around town, and many of them are probably 50 years old or more.

"The goal is to identify all sidewalks that are not up to standard, or may be in need of repair, and then implement a program to begin repair or replacement," Ryfa said.

The town will work with its engineers to create a rating system for the condition of each sidewalk, he said.

To accurately assess the need, the entire town must be walked to create an accurate map showing the problem areas.

"We believe the most efficient way to do this is to hire several civil engineering students who are familiar with survey equipment and GIS software," Ryfa said. "Data will likely be collected using iPads or similar devices."

Ryfa said this could be a good opportunity for students to gain some hands-on experience while also working in their own community.

The council hopes to complete the sidewalk inventory by the end of the summer to determine how many sidewalks need work and what the cost would be.

Griffith has had a limited 50-50 sidewalk program for many years, in which the town and residents split the cost.

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"There is no current funding available on the federal or state level," he noted, but said a starting date will be determined once the expected cost is known.

Ryfa said various participation formulas for residential costs will be presented to the public for feedback before anything is finalized.

The town will continue to repave roads as needed under the Community Grant Program, he said, adding that "we are analyzing funding options for sidewalks."

Persons interested in documenting the sidewalks can email information to sidewalkproject@griffith.in.gov or drop it off at Town Hall.

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