Ellinwood residents create petition to save brick streets

ELLINWOOD, Kan. (KSNW) — A petition is making its way around Ellinwood to “Save the Brick Streets.”

This comes after the city discussed improving deteriorating streets, both concrete and brick.

For longtime resident Joyce Schulte, the city’s brick streets bring back memories, such as walking to school or being in a parade.

“It just means home to a lot of people,” she said. “Okay, we’re home! The brick streets are here.”

When she and other residents found out the city was looking at replacing the brick streets, it came as a shock.

Rick Casagrande recalled his reaction when he found out: “Oh my gosh, no! Surely you’re not going to take up our beautiful brick streets.”

According to city officials, some of the brick streets are 100 years old — and for some residents, that’s why they want the streets to stay.

“They’re really part of the charm of Ellinwood,” said Casagrande.

City officials said it’s the concrete under the brick that is causing the brick streets to get rough spots.

One option is to fix the concrete at a cost of $175,000 per block – and then call it good. The other option is to put the bricks back on the fixed concrete.

“You can figure about another $100,000, in addition to that, to go back with brick,” said Ellinwood city administrator Chris Komarek.

Residents, like Schulte and Casagrande, understand it might be costly — but they hope city leaders make the preservation of Ellinwood, and not just improvements, a priority.

The “Save the Bricks” petition now has around 50 signatures. Those interested in signing it can visit Ellinwood Emporium on Main Street.