Recent rain has turned the gravel roads surrounding Lincoln's People's City Mission into a slushy mess. But fixing the problem at 1st and "Q" comes with a hefty price tag. One nearby business could be forced to help pay.
Putting an end to the mud puddles won't be cheap and it's three area businesses that will foot most of the bill, each chipping in at least $90,000. It's a price tag only one of them likes.
"Even the sidewalks can be totally filled with water. If you're homeless, it's very, very difficult when it gets muddy on the dirt roads," said Pastor Tom Barber of the People's City Mission.
The other businesses don't think paving the two block stretch is necessary.
"This sidewalk is fully paved and adequate for the residents to get to where they need to go," said Shirley Whitney of Bob & Shirley's Towing.
"We don't feel it's necessary. We feel the plight of the mission but we feel there's adequate sidewalks," said Larry Keith, a local landowner.
The city council can force every property owner to pay their part. City ordinance and the location gives council members the authority.
"If the property is located mile and half from city hall and this property is so that's why it's something the council can decide," said Carl Eskridge, Lincoln City Council.
However not everyone agrees.
"I don't think it's fair the mission or businesses have to pay for it. I think the city of Lincoln citizens should pay for it," said Joel Sartore of Lincoln.
With 20 years for businesses to pay off their $90,000 balance, the city believes it's making things easier. Still, it might cost the city jobs.
"Adding additional cost to my expense would only add to possible future decisions of do I need to lay off an employee or two," Whitney said.
The council is expected to make a decision on paving the roads at next Monday's meeting.