Denton County

Leaders Split Over Who Needs to Fix Dangerous Denton Sidewalk

After nearly a year of pressure on the matter, leaders in the city of Denton and in Denton County have yet to come to an agreement over who's responsible for the sidewalks around the Denton County Courthouse on the Square.

The sidewalks that run along the roads on all four sides of the courthouse lawn are cracked with potholes and sit in need of repair.

The problem is the county property where the courthouse sits is surrounded by Denton city property, and leaders seem split on where those sidewalks fall.

A representative for the city of Denton said the walkways sit directly within the county's property with the pavers on the four corners and the parking spaces all around sitting in the right-of-way.

County commissioners, though, declined again this week to take action on the matter during an executive session.

Commissioner Andy Eads said attorneys for the county are currently looking into the matter and they hope to have an answer in the coming weeks as to who is legally in charge of that area's maintenance.

The issue first came to the forefront last January when Denton resident Susan Vaughan tripped in a crack along the stretch and fell face first into the concrete.

Vaughan said injuries from the fall required her four front teeth to be completely reconstructed and her mouth to be wired. That work has already cost her thousands of dollars out of pocket, and if the work doesn't take, she could require even more.

Another resident, Yvette Spicer, fell on the same sidewalk a few months later and broke her arm as a result.

"There could be worse injuries than ours, certainly, and it's time that we need to replace these," said Vaughan.

Vaughan has approached the city and county several times about the situation but said so far she's seen no results.

In one presentation to county commissioners she presented a 1958 agreement between the entities regarding maintenance around the property, and she said under that agreement the work should fall to the county.

Both city and county leaders said they want to see the matter resolved soon so the problem can be fixed.

Vaughan said she has not filed a lawsuit in the matter at this point. She said right now she just wants to see someone step up and take responsibility for the situation.

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