City OKs to budget brick strip removal

Looking west down the decorative brick strip on Main Street.

GRANGEVILLE — The Main Street brick strip is going away.

Last Monday, May 7, the Grangeville City Council tasked public works with removing the downtown Main Street brick strip as time and budget allow. Personalized bricks will be replaced – according to plans at this time – with a colored and stenciled concrete, the same as which was incorporated by the city at Heritage Square.

What of the removed personalized bricks?

“They’ll have a year,” said mayor Wes Lester, for those who are interested in retrieving bricks – upon their removal — they may have purchased or have a personal interest in. He continued that the city already has a pallet of bricks it removed from Heritage Square six years ago, of which none has yet been claimed.

Monday’s decision follows up on a March 5 meeting where Lester brought the long-standing issue before the council to review and take citizen comment on for what to do with the two-foot strip that extends along both sides of Main Street from Meadow to College streets. The strip was installed during the 2000 Main Street revitalization project with personalized bricks sold as part of a private effort to help reduce costs to property owners assessed for costs.

However, in the nearly two decades since, sections of the brick trench have settled, causing an uneven surface, and many spots are not maintained by property owners and so are covered in dirt and weeds. In year’s past, the problematic strip has been discussed by the council, but at those times members were split on whether a resolution was a city or private responsibility.

But Monday, consensus was unanimous with councilor Scott Winkler’s statement: “We need to put that in the budget,” he said.

“I agree, but how much?” questioned councilor Michael Peterson.

According to public works director Jeff McFrederick, estimates are $10,000 per block; back in March, an estimated project total was around $25,000. McFrederick advised undertaking the work in a five-year plan due to the cost involved.

“We need to figure out what to do,” he said. “From a liability standpoint, we need to start making head with this.”

“It’s a hazardous mess,” said councilor Beryl Grant.

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