Merriam exploring maintenance of city’s islands with homes associations

The maintenance of the city's islands has been part of the council discussion lately.
The maintenance of the city’s islands has been part of the council discussion lately.

How to make sure the city’s neighborhood islands remain attractive is an issue being pondered by the Merriam City Council.

The islands have been a topic at the last two council meetings and last month councilors decided to start with community outreach to determine which of the neighborhood associations could use help in maintaining the islands. Of the 20 islands in the city, 19 are within active homes associations.

Merriam City Administrator Phil Lammers told the council in August that it would cost the city $12,000 to $14,000 to do turf management at the islands – weeding, fertilizing and mowing. To water would require even more resources, he said.

Councilor Jim Wymer said the islands could be viewed just like art projects and get partial funding. Councilor Nancy Hupp suggested the city start small in its support of the islands and perhaps get a small committee together to see what they need.

“We are responsible for how they look at some point,” Mayor Ken Sissom said. Those that are being maintained by the homes associations should be left alone, the mayor said.

Councilor Al Frisby proposed contacting the homes association presidents to find out what they need help with from the city. Councilors agreed that a community outreach would be the first step in determining a plan for island upkeep.