Merriam offers cash for residents to throw block parties

MERRIAM, Kan. — The city of Merriam, Kansas is offering to reimburse up to $200 to residents who throw block parties. 

The idea is to bring people together, allow them to enjoy the summer weather and meet their neighbors.

Bryan Dyer, Community Development Director for the city of Merriam, said the project is partially a way to promote safety.

"When you get to know your neighbors, you obviously know who is in the neighborhood. You know who perhaps should be at your neighbor’s house,” said Dyer.

Many of the residents feel like Merriam is very safe.

“I think Merriam is known for its hometown feel. We’ve lived here since 1988, and we’ve never had a burglary or break in,” said Charles Stoker.

Stoker believes that feeling of security comes from knowing his neighbors.

“I feel safe here, anytime day or night, and walking the streets or anything like that,” said Stoker.

“I think people want to know their neighbors and feel confident and comfortable with where they are coming home to,” said Brian Polodna, who lives a block over from Stoker.

City staff believes encouraging people to get to know each other a little better will add to that comfortable feeling. They are reimbursing residents up to $200 for supplies like food, paper goods and party favors to throw block parties.

The reimbursement does not cover alcohol or tent rentals.

The city wants people to fill out an application five days before the block party with the city clerk. You also must keep and turn in all your receipts.

For more details visit merriam.org/blockparty

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