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Abilene residents speak out about Ambler Corridor project

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 30 2013 07:46:04 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

The Ambler Corridor project is set to go to a public hearing at the April 11 City Council Meeting. Saturday, Abilene residents spoke out.

Earlier this week, we reported the Abilene City Council is moving forward with plans to spruce up the area on the north side of town known as the Ambler Corridor.

The new project could regulate the types of businesses that open there.

It would also force other businesses to maintain appearance and promote "high quality" development.

One Abilene City Council candidate, Steve Savage, has said this is a conflict of interest because four members of the Abilene City Council have direct ties to businesses there.

Savage also said it's unfair to say what types of businesses can move into the area.

People we spoke to agreed the Ambler Corridor could use a facelift.

Some don't care that City Council members have direct ties to the area. They just want to see it cleaned up.

"I think it's a real good idea," said Abilene resident Buddy Shipman. "I don't care if City Council members live here or not. This is where people want to be at," he said.

However, people do agree that restricting types of businesses in the area because they may be eyesores is unfair.

"No, I don't think that's right." said Jerry Kingston. "If there's a market for it and these people can put their business in and offer something to the public and generate business, then, yeah, I wouldn't think that'd be fair at all," he said.

"People want to make money, but they can also make that place look eye-pleasing by putting up fences or murals," said James Reed.

But what about the area on the opposite end of Ambler - Winters Freeway to Grape Street?

People who live and work there say the city should devote some time and money to their area, too.

"They should do sidewalks," said Samual Tabor. "We have kids that run in this area here and [the city] should focus on that," he said.

Tabor also thinks sprucing up his area would be good for local business because, according to Tabor, the area is a thoroughfare and "people see this all the time," he said.