Warm, cozy sidewalks pave way for shoppers in downtown Niles

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, December 29, 2004

By By AUSTIN NEILSON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Slippery sidewalks and driveways have been a problem encountered this season but not for some businesses in downtown Niles.
The recent completion of the renovated streetscape added a new element for some businesses-heated sidewalks.
Not all downtown businesses have the heated walkways, as those who wanted them had to pay for installation.
An original plan had the City of Niles providing the heating capabilities. However, the plan fell through, as property difficulties hindered the city's efforts.
In order for the sidewalks to function, a boiler must be placed inside the business which has purchased the system.
IHS Technologies installed the heating systems downtown.
Smith pointed out that the boilers needed for the project cost around $2,000-$6,000.
Of the systems in use, Smith said they are working well.
Paul Piazza, of Thayer's Jewelers on East Main Street, agrees.
Piazza noted the installation was no burden to the company, as they had a previous heating system. When sidewalk replacement began, the city paid for replacing the old system. However, running the sidewalk is a different story.
Majerek's Reader World's Shelley Dumond also likes the heated surface.
Although the store uses the system only in "emergencies," she said it is beneficial for the store's elderly customers.
IHS Technologies' Kevin Smith added if any need to repair the heating systems was encountered, replacement would be pretty simple.
Neil Coulston, Public Works Director for the City of Niles, said if a repair is necessary for the sidewalk, the city would most likely perform repairs.