Residents Ordered to Repair, Replace Broken Sidewalks
by Donnelly Clare City- Times Staff
You can’t enjoy a walk in the City of Stevens Point without a good sidewalk under your feet.
A recent city sidewalk inspection indicates over 100 residential locations with damaged sidewalks in need of repair or replacement.
Residents have three options when it comes to repairing sidewalks along their property, said Public Works Director Scott Schatschneider.
“They can either hire a contractor to repair the damage, they fix it themselves, or they could do nothing,” said Schatschneider.
He added homeowners with damaged sidewalks will receive an order for replacement and repair of sidewalk in the mail. Residents have until October 31, 2012 to repair any damage themselves.
Residents who chose the latter option still incur a cost of repairing broken/ unsafe sidewalks, and possibly at a higher price. If the costs net under $100, the balance would need to be paid within 30 days or added to the property owner’s tax bill.
Any amount over $100 could be spread out over a 3- year period, and would include interest. A typical 5×5 section of walking sidewalk costs $89.25 per square, and $109.25 for driveway sidewalk.
The city contracts sidewalk repair, and bids will be accepted in the spring of 2013, with the repairs to begin over the summer.
“We obviously don’t allocate enough money, time or effort on our city’s sidewalks, and there are a ton of observations we don’t get to, but it’s still definitely an issue,” said Mayor Halverson of the recent inspection.
“To be honest, some of our sidewalks are horrendous,” said Alderman Roger Trzebiatowski.
“Back in ’08 we talked about creating some kind of overall map, so we can talk about these problems, and I’d like to see that come to fruition,” he said.
Currently the city is divided into five areas for sidewalk inspection, with each area being inspected every five years.
Mayor Halverson agreed, but also added the city might want to look at lifting burden off individual homeowners and spreading the cost around more.
“I hate to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway: is it time to consider prioritizing pedestrian accommodations? Is it time to consider sidewalk maintenance a priority for the city and have the general levy pay for sidewalks? It’s something we should at least have a conversation about for a future plan,” Halverson said.
Property owners with sidewalks in need of repair can expect a letter from the director of public works later this month.