The New Ulm City Council on Tuesday approved a “Pilot Project” for replacing the aging and deteriorating inlaid bricks on sidewalks downtown as well as the concrete paver crosswalks. The decorative bricks now in place were installed along the downtown sidewalks in the late 1990′s, and one area near city hall is in need of immediate replacement. The council’s options were to stay with the bricks, go to a stamped concrete with a similar look, or go back to plain concrete. New Ulm Public Works Superintendent Tom Patterson told the council that concrete is the preferable option in many ways, most of all in the lower maintenance required. The council decided to go with plain concrete, but chose to add color to it, likely the same shade of brown as the existing bricks. Crosswalks would also revert to plain asphalt with painted lines. The half-block pilot project will cost the city around $15,000, and where to go with the rest of the sidewalks and crosswalks downtown, and how to pay for them, will be decided in the future. In other business Tuesday, the council granted a tobacco license to the Smokes 4 Less store that had been previously denied over concerns of the business selling “herbal incense” products. The owners of the store have agreed to stop carrying the synthetic marijuana in exchange for the tobacco license.