LEESBURG – Town residents are being encouraged to take advantage of a program that helps pay to replace their sidewalks.

The town will pay for up to 66 feet of sidewalk that is 4 inches deep and 5 feet wide. These dimensions are a requirement of the program because they make the sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The money may be used only on public walkways, not for the walk leading up to a residence or other private area of the property.

A representative from Leesburg United Methodist Church asked the town council Monday if the program is available per address, or limited to one application per property owner. The church has three addresses on its property – the church, the parsonage and a parking lot – and it wants to upgrade the sidewalks on all three.

Council member Doug Jones said he believed the church could receive funding for each address, and town attorney Vern Landis didn’t think that would be a problem. Council President Christina Archer said there have been no other requests for the program so far this year.

Craig Charlton, street superintendent, said allowing the church to have funding for each address would not deplete the funding available to other residents. He said the town can do eight or nine projects a year.

Charlton also said that even though sidewalks are public walkways, they are the homeowner’s responsibility. “We have some that are pretty bad,” he said. He said poorly maintained sidewalks can become a liability issue for the homeowner if someone falls.

Also during the meeting, Archer encouraged residents to attend this week’s Hometown Chat to share their “wish list” for Leesburg. The meetings are being sponsored by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation in each town in the county to let communities know funding is available from the Eli Lilly Foundation for items such as housing, child care and other community needs.

Leesburg’s Hometown Chat is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Leesburg UMC, 111 W. Prairie Street. Child care will be provided.

In other business:

  • The council approved $30,000 for change orders finishing the Town Hall project.
  • Derek Tenney reported inappropriate items being flushed at one residence. He had Charlton come and talk to the residents of the home and give them a “Do Not Flush” sign as a reminder. When Archer said some signs have been distributed to businesses in town, Jones said, “I’ve got mine in the front window (of MasterMind Computers), and it attracts some interesting questions.”
  • Jones reported that because of a change to the Community Crossings grant process, the town will not be reimbursed for projects this year. He said the town can’t take any formal bids for a project until the grant money has been approved. Instead of knowing the actual cost based on bids, towns must now hire a consultant to estimate the cost of a project to apply for a grant. “It makes no sense, but that’s how it is,” he said.

    The next council meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

  • The owner of the lots at 107 and 109 Van Buren Street presented documents for the council to sign that the alley between the lots has been vacated and the lots have officially become one property.