Courthouse sidewalk repair project complete

Published 12:51 pm Monday, August 23, 2010

Columbus council member Ernie Kan announced last week that the courthouse sidewalk repairs are complete. She also asked council for their permission to embark on her next project, rain gardens.

Kan took on the sidewalk project in June as a volunteer effort. The town has agreed to cut costs and maintain a lean budget with no tax increases this year, so Kan did the project using no town funding.

She and numerous volunteers took up each brick, leveled the ground and smoothed out the sidewalk. The sidewalk’s uneven bricks have presented a fall hazard for years.

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Kan thanked everyone who helped with the sidewalk project, including local fire, police and emergency service volunteers who helped the effort and two men who came almost every day. She said the last part of the work would not have been finished yet without the help of the Polk County Recreation Department summer camp students. She said students came every Tuesday and Thursday to pick up bricks and replace them.

Kan was seen working on site almost every day this summer, beginning around 6 a.m.

Council members thanked Kan for her efforts and gave her a standing ovation last Thursday.

Thank you for working so hard, said councilman Michael Gage. Im extremely impressed.

Kan told council she is thinking of placing rain gardens around the courthouse as her second similar project. She said the optimal time to plant is in the fall and she is hoping to get local garden clubs to help and to agree to maintain the gardens for a two-year period.

One Saluda man has already offered to donate 100 native plants, Kan said, but money will still be needed for the rain garden project, including walls, compost, gravel and more plants.

Kan asked council for permission last Thursday to begin fundraising and to speak with local garden clubs to ask for their assistance.

Columbus Town Manager Jonathan Kanipe said there is opportunity to receive grant funding from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund on one side of the courthouse because the rain gardens could be classified as storm water management.

Anyone wishing to donate to Kans rain garden project can contact Columbus Town Hall at 894-8236 for more information.