Fliers advertising curb address painting cause confusion in Wichita

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Bright yellow fliers that are showing up on some Wichita homeowners' doors are causing confusion.

The fliers are from a company that says for $20 it will paint your address number on the curb in front of your home.

But some homeowners say the wording of the flier seems to suggest it's a requirement to have a home address number painted on the curb and that this company is going to perform the service this week. They say it left them conflicted about what to do.

They contacted the Wichita Police Department with their concerns.

"It didn't state directly that it was required but it insinuated it was," said Lori Kimrey of the West Bureau of the Wichita Police Department.

The fliers are titled, "Neighborhood Enhancement Program." Below the title is five paragraphs of text that begin with, "Reflective home address numbers are being installed, (sic) by an independent contractor. Your street will be worked on starting tomorrow."

That kind of wording concerns police.

"The wording says, 'We will be out. We will be collecting.' It wasn't optional," Kimrey said.

The text goes on to explain how the curb addresses will be installed and how much it costs. It then has a section titled, "To be included ..." and asks homeowners to print their name on the bottom of the flier to make it serve as an "order form."

"It didn't say if you are interested please contact us. It felt more pressured," Kimrey said.

Police say you should not feel pressured because according to city ordinance there is no requirement to have your address number painted on the curb. The ordinance does prevent companies from painting address numbers on the curb without the consent of a homeowner.

"It's certainly not mandatory but if a citizen wants to have their curb painted, they can do it," Lt. Doug Nolte said.

City leaders just ask that four guidelines be followed: That numbers be black on a white background, that the numbers be four inches in height, that they not be painted in a restricted parking zone, and that they be placed on the curb closest to the entrance of a home.

City leaders say the curb painting can actually be very helpful.

"For first responders, it makes it a lot easier to find houses especially at night," Lt. Nolte said.

Police say the company behind these bright yellow fliers is a legitimate company and an option to perform the curb painting.

David Daugherty of west Wichita says he filled out the form for the company to start the work on his curb. He says they began that work Thursday morning. The company did not ask for any money up front.

"It's a little unconventional the way (the service) is solicited," Daugherty said. "But I've used the service before and it's nice having the number on the curb."

Homeowners and police do say the company leaders were a bit difficult to track down. The fliers contain no telephone number or address for the company. Instead, the fliers tell homeowners to visit a Facebook page.

That Facebook page belongs to MB Painting. Boo Stewart and his father, both of Salt Lake City, own the company. The company operates in several states but Boo is in the process of relocating to Wichita, he said.

He says the company didn't mean to cause any confusion and will work to make their fliers more clear.

"I'd be more than happy to go out tonight and make clear on the fliers this is not a required service and that it's completely optional," Boo said.

People in some of the neighborhoods were the fliers were distributed say that would make them feel a lot better.

"I could see how people could think that (it was a requirement) pretty easily," Daugherty said. "There might be some changes that should be made."

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