GIRARD — The Girard City Council set dates to interview eight candidates for the vacant city administrator position after an executive session during a special meeting Monday.

The council entered an executive session with Nikki Harrison — a League of Kansas Municipalities representative — to review candidates that had applied for the position, and were recommended by LKM.

The council selected the top six candidates recommended by LKM for interviews, as well as two additional candidates.

The council will interview all candidates via Skype, beginning with three of the six at 6:30 p.m. August 22, followed by the remaining three at 6:30 p.m. August 24. The two additional candidates will be interviewed at 6:30 p.m. August 28.

Harrison recommended splitting up the interview dates as each interview will take 30 minutes, and she recommended a 10 minute break between each interview for discussion.

“We’re making progress and moving in the right direction to fill the vacancy left by Chris [Weiner] as fast as we can,” Mayor Kurt Ziegler said.

The council also met with PEC Consultant Jason Dickman to discuss needed repairs to the sidewalk at Girard National Bank. The sidewalk was poured as part of the city’s streetscape project, but according to Council Member Daniel Murray, was not poured to specifications.

The fixed sidewalk will include a change in grade, and must be properly marked.

Dickman recommended the council go with red-dyed concrete. The dye serves as a warning to show pedestrians the change in grade, and takes the place of adhesive tape or paint, which needs maintenance.

“Once I am approved to get a price for the repairs, it will come in as a change order from the contractor and then we will be able to discuss costs,” Dickman said.

Murray said he did not believe the city should have to pay for the fix to a problem the city did not create.

“No one came to us to tell us there was an issue with the sidewalk there,” Murray said. “The sidewalk was just put in incorrectly, and now we’re being sold a solution.”

Ziegler said he would be willing to pay for the dyed concrete, because it is an additional safety measure requested by the city.

Murray, however, held his ground.

“If the sidewalk had been built to specifications and still wasn’t right, it would be on the city,” he said. “But it wasn’t built to specifications, so I don’t believe the taxpayers of Girard should have to cover someone else’s mistake.”

Council Member Sheldon DeLange also asked Dickman about water meters around the square. He said several meters in the sidewalk around the square are not flush with the concrete and are a tripping hazard.

“Some are flush with the concrete as they should be, but some are raised up a few inches, and one is almost eight inches above the concrete,” DeLange said. “They can’t be left that way.”

Dickman said he would walk the square and look at the issue before leaving Girard that evening.

“Be careful that you don’t trip,” DeLange said.

The council approved Dickman to move forward with preparing for necessary repairs to the GNB sidewalk.

“All you’ve done is approve me to put together a price for the project,” Dickman said. “You are not obligated to pay for anything until the change order comes to you and you discuss costs and approve or deny it.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.