WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Buckled, cracked, and crumbled. Some Wichita sidewalks are in desperate need of repair. Some property owners are upset after finding out they will have to fork over the cash for the fix.
An unexpected expense. While Beth Rush’s sidewalk is cracked and is not up to code, she says the big trees that the City owns are causing the issue.
“The roots are going to still be there, and that’s what’s causing the problem,” Beth Rush said.
More than $1,600 is the estimate from the City, which Rush said she received in the mail last week for sidewalk repairs.
“With the rising cost of everything going up today, I just really don’t think that we should have to pay for anything,” Rush said.
Rush has reached out to councilmember Mike Hoheisel to share her concerns. He said the cost for homeowners is concerning.
“There’s a lot of people, especially people retired on fixed incomes, who even if it is 30 or 40 [dollars] a month coming out on their property taxes, it makes a difference,” said Hoheisel.
Rush said she has lived in her home for 20 years and has never been asked to pay to repair her sidewalks. She said the damage around the block is from trees the City owns.
“I know this is a beautiful tree, but they may have to take the tree out and plant it in the park. You know, maybe do that so that they can get rid of tree roots that are causing the problems,” said Rush.
“Diving into the whole tree policy that we’ve been looking at over the last couple of months, this is an issue that we need to explore a little further,” said Hoheisel.
While homeowners pay for the sidewalk repairs is a Kansas state law. Hoheisel said the City needs to look into what can be done for homeowners.
“With inflation pinching people from both ends, we should just explore all options to help the people, to help our constituents,” said Hoheisel.
All along with the neighborhood of Mead, there are Xs on the sidewalk. On Wednesday, Hoheisel will meet with many in the neighborhood to see the issues in person.