Council reviewing sidewalk ordinance

By Dave Fidlin



Will the City of Whitewater charge a special assessment fee for property owners in need of having sidewalks replaced? If so, how much?

These are lingering questions officials are contemplating as potential revisions to an ordinance concerning sidewalk repair and replacement is reviewed.

A first reading of the ordinance took place in December, with the provision it will be revisited for further deliberation and possible action at the council’s next meeting in mid-January.

This fall, the city’s Public Works Committee reviewed the current ordinance and deliberated over potential changes. A recommendation was made, though it was not in sync with staff-level desires for next steps

The committee, on a 2-1 vote, had proposed special assessing property owners at a 50% rate of the cost of repairing and replacing old sidewalk, unless a terrace tree is the reason the infrastructure needs remediation.

In a memo, Public Works Director Brad Marquardt outlined the department’s desire for the sidewalk repair and replacement program, going forward.

“Staff would recommend sticking with the current resolution, where the property owner owes nothing, and the city pays 100%,” Marquardt wrote in the memo. “This would be in line with spot curb and gutter replacement on street reconstruction projects and with sidewalk replacement on street reconstruction projects, where the city pays 100%.”

During a brief discussion of the issue at the council’s Dec. 5 meeting – as the first reading was taken up – several members said they were concerned with the budgetary impact of the city shouldering 100% of the cost.

For the full story, please see the print edition of the Whitewater Register.

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