At the Village Council meeting last Monday night, the subject of sidewalk repair prompted considerable discussion. Village President Dan Reszka clarified the current policy:
When a portion of non-primary sidewalk is declared a hazard, the village will remove the old sidewalk, but the owner of the property adjacent to the sidewalk must pay for a new sidewalk. (Note that this statement is my interpretation of the ordinance, in my own words. It does not contain the actual ordinance language.)
President Reszka expressed initial concern that, because the village residential areas contain many non-contiguous pieces of non-primary sidewalk, with many portions not there at all, it would be difficult to enforce the ordinance. For example, one property owner who has a hazardous sidewalk would have to pay for repair or replacement, whereas his/her neighbor, who has no sidewalk has nothing to repair and is not required by the village to put in a sidewalk.
Much discussion ensued between Council members and the attending public. Council decided to study the problem and seek a recommended solution at a later meeting. Village Manager Bob Peterson will provide Trustees with a current map of village sidewalks and other appropriate information. I plan to publish the map when it is available.
One possible solution (my idea) is to update the map, showing clearly the primary sidewalks that the village is totally responsible for. Then, when a non-primary sidewalk is condemned, the village removes the sidewalk and the property owner pays for grass and, perhaps, street trees.
If you have an opinion on this issue or a recommended solution, please leave a comment below and also contact a Trustee or the Village Office.