• Downtown St. Cloud business owners split on brick roads for redevelopment project


    ST. CLOUD, Fla. - People in downtown St. Cloud are split between those who like bricks and those who prefer asphalt for a pricey redevelopment project.

    For decades, the old bricks sat hidden under asphalt and now they’re part of downtown St. Cloud’s new look.

    “When they get wet like it’s raining now, they get slippery as all heck," said resident Peter Joyce.

    “A lot of elderly people have been falling and hurting themselves, and it floods even worse now,” said business owner Gina Whaley.

    But restaurant owner Angie Redman said the bricks brought a lot of people downtown.

    “They give it the historic appeal. It’s brought a lot of people downtown,” Redman said.

    Workers are nearing the end of the road with the asphalt removal project, which began in February.

    Repairing the bricks is expensive and the city is getting close to exceeding its $423,000 budget.

    One option on the table is to remove the bricks from two streets for use on two others, and pave over areas where asphalt was just removed.

    “I hope they keep the bricks the way they are. I hope they continue to work on them,” Redman said.

    That could be an option if the city approves another $200,000 from the Community Redevelopment Agency’s fund, which consists of money from taxes paid by local businesses.

    The city manager plans to present both plans at a meeting Thursday, and plenty of people want to be heard.

    “Not all the business thought it was a great idea to do the brick pavers and wasting money on that,” Whaley said.

    “We have tons of great restaurant and shops that people need to know are down here. They need to focus on this and the bricks are a great place to start,” Redman said.

    Thursday’s meeting starts at 4 p.m. at City Hall.  

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