City sinks feet into pondering sidewalk repair
Cracks in the sidewalk can be a pain in the neck of whomever is responsible for their repair, and city leaders discussed recently exactly who that was.
The discussion was prompted by complaints about the condition of sidewalks in the 900 block of Church Street. City Superintendent Jim Boyer said he was looking for direction on how to proceed with the complaints.
According to a memo from the superintendent, a nearby resident complained he couldn't use his motorized wheelchair in the 900 block of Church Street because of the sidewalk's condition. Boyer noted much of the deterioration came from tree roots pushing the sidewalk upward, but he also said poor sub grade and drainage away from the sidewalk could be contributing to the problem.
Mayor Ron Conner said repairs to sidewalks were usually assessed to the benefitting property, but he also said such improvements were better completed as a comprehensive project. The mayor suggested getting an inventory of the city's sidewalks or at least identifying those with complaints and hazards and notifying property owners.
Such discussion raised other issues like how to ensure property owners repaired sidewalks to meet city codes, making sidewalks ADA accessible, and what to do with old-fashioned brick sidewalks.
City Administrator Mike Yanez suggested contacting the League of Kansas Municipalities about model ordinances addressing how to deal with the situation. From there, he said, the issue could be brought back to the Council for it to adopt its own policy.
Conner also suggested getting an idea of how much a one-and-a-quarter-inch sidewalk costs per running foot.