It appears trees, an unending source of pride for those who live in German Village, have caused considerable damage to the neighborhood's brick sidewalks.

It appears trees, an unending source of pride for those who live in German Village, have caused considerable damage to the neighborhood's brick sidewalks.

That was the conclusion of Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations, a group of Ohio State University students that has been working with the German Village Society to address the issue.

After a series of visual inspections, tree roots were found to have caused the most unevenness, large gaps and missing bricks in some places, students concluded.

There is a solution -- removing the trees or chopping out the roots, for example -- but it isn't cheap, ranging anywhere from $200 to $2,000, depending on the size of the tree, the group said.

Bryan Gemler, the group's executive board adviser, said the actual number of trees that would have to be removed would be less than 10 percent and is largely dependent on the condition of the tree.

Students Consulting, which has been studying the sidewalk issue for three months, presented an update about the issue to the society's board of trustees Dec. 14.

Fixing the sidewalks was considered the No. 1 priority in the most recent master plan.

Students Consulting has asked the Society to reserve $25,000 as a sort of bank, where people looking to repair their sidewalks can get reimbursed a certain amount for the work, provided it meets the certain criteria set by the board.

The board has not decided on the issue.

Students Consulting's goal is to repair more than 60 properties whose sidewalks are in poor position.

Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their sidewalks. More than half of the properties in German Village are renter-occupied, Students Consulting said.

The group found commercial sidewalks are in better conditions than residential sidewalks.

The study concluded that when considering a block of houses in a particular area, the cost to repair the sidewalks in poor condition is $275 per house. The group also found that residents would be willing to pay around half of that, resulting in a cost to the German Village Society of $125 per house, the study concluded.

Shiloh Todorov, executive director of the German Village Society, said the organization hasn't figured out the right course of action and is interested in additional information from Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations.

"We're interested in figuring out of this can be a financially helpful option in their sidewalk repair," she said.