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Local mom pushes for change to unfinished sidewalks

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Updated: 11/22/2013 8:21 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The mother of a 15-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver is pushing for changes to unfinished sidewalks.

Jo-Lee Manning calls them the "sidewalks to nowhere." Now a marker sits on the spot on Kenton Morrison Road where her daughter, Haley Smith, was killed six days ago.

"One of my first concerns when I went out and looked at the site was the sidewalk to nowhere. It just ended right there, almost where she landed," said Manning.

The sidewalk was not the only unfinished sidewalk we found in the area. We also saw at least two more down Four Mile Road.

Action News tracked down the owner of the empty lot adjacent to the unfinished sidewalk to a Jacksonville-based company called Hallmark Partners.

According to property records, it purchased the land in 2007. Executive Vice President Dave Auchter said the property has been idle for some time.

"Nothing is scheduled at this time," said Auchter.

Legally, they don't have to build a sidewalk until they begin construction. Auchter said St. Johns County had already reached out to them about potentially extending the sidewalk.

"We're certainly open to the city's engineering department, studying that and providing that," said Auchter.

According to St. Johns County, the sidewalk fund only is about $100,000. A county spokesperson said that's not enough to match the need for countywide sidewalks.

It's little consolation for Manning, but she's not giving up.

"Just like I'm not going to give up trying to find out who did this to Haley, I'm not going to give up on trying to fix this so other families don't have to go through this," said Manning.

According to Manning, she's planning a memorial for Smith on Dec. 7, which would've been Smith's 16th birthday.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Papakilo - 11/22/2013 10:42 PM
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Unfinished sidewalks, easements, drainage, city property, etc. The city leaders think more about WASTING your taxes on attracting new business and visitors while leaving common maintenance projects and the taxpayers living in a trashy looking city. I ask you if you were a visitor or a business owner, and drove through the city's streets outside of the central city, would you want your employees living or visiting a city which does not work hard everyday to keep the entire city well maintained and repaired? The city is starting to look like cities in Italy, trash and garbage in the streets and easements left in disrepair, accompanied by disgusting smells of sewage.
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