McPherson representatives discussed various street improvements to the southwest area of town at Monday's community meetings. These are the fifth and sixth of eight meetings scheduled to gather community input about which streets should be improved first.

The city of McPherson has 87 miles of streets, and cost to reconstruct all streets that need it would exceed $18 million.

“That 18 million is what it would cost to address all the streets highlighted on the map. We couldn’t even begin to address that with the $1.5 million from sales tax, so that’s why we’re prioritizing streets,” said Jeff Woodward, director of public works.

Street projects are currently funded by a half cent sales tax that generates $1.5 million annually. About 30 percent of this tax comes from out-of-town shoppers. The tax is up for renewal — not slated to increase — at elections on Nov. 7 this year. If passed, it will extend the tax from 2020 to 2030.

City representatives met with those living in quadrant 3 on Monday, the section southwest of Main Street and Kansas Avenue, at this meeting and will meet with those in quadrant 4 at noon and at 5:30 p.m. on July 25 at the McPherson Museum.

To determine which streets should be at the top of the list, the public works department uses a street prioritization formula that takes into account items like quality of pavement, amount of traffic and how quickly the road deteriorates.

In quadrant 3, proposed projects are South Hickory Street, from Lincoln Street to Hayes Street; South Walnut Street, from Avenue A to Avenue C; West Avenue C, from Walnut Street to Chestnut Street; West Skancke Street, from Chestnut Street to the railroad crossing; West Washington Street, from Gildersleeve Street to Hickory Street.

These projects are proposed based on the street prioritization formula, and residents are encouraged to share input on which they believe to be the most important or suggest other streets they believe to be better candidates.

Also in the southwest quadrant, a section of Walnut Street is highlighted at high priority, but the entire street is highlighted as in need of repair, though some sections may not be as cost effective to repair. The public works office will use input from the public in how much of Walnut Street should be considered for the first wave of repairs, or if there are other streets that should be repaired first.

To share input or for more information, contact the McPherson Public Works office at 620-245-2545.

Contact Cheyenne Derksen Schroeder by email at cderksen@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter at @MacSentinel.