Archive for Sunday, January 29, 2006

Funding issues

January 29, 2006


To the editor:

Mark Kaplan in a letter to the editor questioned why the sidewalks are not kept in the same repair as the streets. Hmmm? They are, Mr. Kaplan, both are in disrepair.

Maybe Kaplan should have considered that the 3 percent loan money and other federal money for neighborhoods might have been used for infrastructure like sidewalks instead of personal projects.

Perhaps the Journal-World could revisit the spending of Community Development Block Grand money. Oh, not long ago the Oread group squandered $54,000 for a set of 18 steps. Hmmm? Maybe $10,000 would have replaced the steps in question and the $44,000 would have poured hundreds of feet of sidewalks. And maybe even a walk to the steps!

Take a "walk on the wild side"? Take a walk down any alley east of Iowa street and you will soon wonder why many families don't want to live in the central city, Mr. Blank. Bob Blank and I have discussed this rental/landlord tax issue privately and Mr. Blank is still blank about the reason for high taxes.

Here is a hint: The school district consumes 50 percent of the local property taxes. Not clear? How about this: Mr. Weseman makes over $100,000 a year. Suppose your property taxes are around $2,000 a year and the district gets one half of it. That is $1,000 per house, which translates to 100 homes paying $2,000 in taxes just to pay one administrator. Even I flunked math several times, but I am not blank on this one.

David Holroyd,



Richard Heckler 12 years ago

CDBG funds cannot fund sidewalk repair for commercial ventures such as home rental property. If home rental property sidewalks need repair imagine the over all condition of that home. Lawrence has its' fair share of slumlords who simply do not take care of houses much less sidewalks.

Sidewalks in disrepair make it difficult at best for citizens in wheel chairs to get around. It's also a bit unsafe for joggers or children who may want to run in their day of activities. Tricycles could have a bit of a challenge as well.

I have a feeling that sidewalks could be repaired by the city without an additional tax. The repair work should begin east of Connecticut on 13th primarily because of a wheel chair person who is forced into the street because the walks would simply be too difficult to navigate. BTW our street east of Connecticut is without walks so no tax dollars go here.

Another concern is who gets hired to repair the walks. Taxpayers should demand that the city do the repairs in order to maintain continuity in quality. I have little to no faith regarding city inspectors and outside contractors. There are too many horror stories involving concrete work done in new housing whether wealthy or moderate income neighborhoods whether it be driveways or swimming pools. We should not want/need to repair sidewalks at the same frequency as our streets.

Maybe next year asphalt money could be spent on sidewalks? Yes I do support Mark Kaplan and his thoughts on sidewalk repair.

Jamesaust 12 years ago

Well, yeah, as long as the taxpayer keeps subsidizing new development, there's likely to be a shortage of money to keep the existing infrastructure in repair.

Speakout 12 years ago

Wait a minute!!! Don't we need more roundabouts? I mean why fix sidewalks or streets when we can build more roundabouts? This city is in real trouble. I lived for several years in a big city (Detroit, Michigan) and they spent less (in percentage) on keeping traffic under control than we do. Are we Kansans driving worse then Detroiters? I hope not.

bjohanning 12 years ago

Drive down "most" streets where you have KU students living in what was originally single family dwellings and you will see more often than not "Mini-slums" with trash and homes in disrepair. The landlords of these dwellings are nothing more than slum-lords and should be held accountable and forced to maintain and clean these "dwellings."

bearded_gnome 12 years ago

that wheelchair user you cite is just one of dozens of people with disabilities forced to walk, roll, etc., in the street. larger numbers of walkers must walk in the street to have a reliable walking surface.
even Simon Gilmore (quoted in one of his recent articles) said he walked in the street because with his low vision it was too unsafe to try walking on the sidewalks, or where the sidewalks are supposed to be!

yes, the streets need repair too. but right now, the condition of sidewalks if forcing many to walk in the street too.

I am delighted at the recent coverage of this problem in the paper! keep it up LJW!

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