City, property owners talk sidewalk issues on Elm Street

By Chris Swick
November 18, 2015

Concerned property owners along the 900 block of North Elm Street in McPherson met with McPherson city commissioners and staff Monday in the hopes of coming to an agreement as to the sidewalk on the east side of the street.

Seith Snow, the newly-hired city inspector, was called out to look at the sidewalk prior to the meeting.

“The entire sidewalk, from Earl Street to Allison Street, was all busted up,” Snow said. “Tree roots had rooted it up, the sidewalk was about an inch thick all the way through. The entire sidewalk was bad.”

Ken Wizarde, who owns a home along the block in question, which is just across from Lincoln Elementary School, says the homeowners would like to see the sidewalk removed all together, rather than go through a massive repair project.

“That's the majority, all of the people on Elm Street on the east side, 900 through 926,” Wizarde said. “I don't know how that's supposed to take effect, or how that's supposed to be done, but that's our wishes at this point in time.”

McPherson Mayor Tom Brown was unsure about removing a sidewalk directly across from a school, but pledged to look into the matter as part of an overall plan to improve the walkways around the city's schools.

“We will take a look at all of this,” Brown said. “We're trying to come up with a solution for [McPherson Middle School], we've got a Safe Routes to School grant in for Roosevelt [Elementary School]. I've said it before, but if we can't get approval for that grant this time, we need to figure out another way to do it without being involved with the federal government and the state government. There are sometimes easier ways and cheaper ways to do it yourself and still do a good job.”

Brown assured the property owners that the city would return to the issue by mid-December.