City will offer sidewalk repair incentives in area

Approximately 180 property owners will soon be receiving letters about the condition of their sidewalks, with the opportunity to have them repaired at a significant cost savings.

City Administrator Scott Flory said that in conjunction with the city’s North 3rd Street and 1st Avenue North (downtown) Improvement Project  a survey of sidewalks was conducted and the city has determined the need for many to repair defective walkways for the safety of the community.  In order to achieve compliance, hopefully by as early as this fall, the city is offering “a carrot.”   

The city will rebate the cost of cement for those property owners identified as needing to make repairs. The repairs must be done to code and there is a limit to the payback, according to Flory.

The City is hopeful the sidewalk improvements can be done by October, but is willing to work with those who cannot get the work done until the spring.

Those that don’t comply will have to go through the special assessment formal process, bid letting and legal process.

“It will be significantly more costly to not make the improvements now— probably three to four times more costly,” said Flory.

A town hall meeting will be scheduled, inviting those who have received letters saying sidewalk repairs are necessary to come and ask questions and learn about the incentive program.  The date for that meeting has not yet been announced.

Other business

In other business at Monday night’s Council meeting, a professional services agreement with WHKS & Co. was approved for the North 3rd Street and 1st Avenue North (downtown) Improvement Project.  The project is one of the capital improvement projects budgeted for in the city’s fiscal year 2019 municipal budget.

Proposed improvements include resurfacing pavement with a hot asphalt mix, extension of city storm sewer on 1st Avenue North between North Shore Drive and North 3rd Street and then south to the east-west alley on North 3rd Street, with six new storm sewer intakes, and sub-drain (including road drain connections), and replacement of existing brick paver sidewalk with five-inch thick PCC paver base and new brick pavers.

The cost of the professional services agreement is not-to-exceed $50,000.

The project schedule class for the bid letting to be conducted on Aug. 2, with construction starting after Labor Day and being completed by mid-November.

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