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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Oregon targets Moundview for sidewalk repair

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Although she'd rather not spend money fixing the sidewalk outside her Oregon home, Kay Smith understands why the city wants it repaired.

"They should have been taken care of a long time ago - they're bad," said Mrs. Smith, 61, 2500 Granton Pl. "The front is about all grass, and it's pretty well busted up. It's old."

Because her home is on a corner lot, the city has estimated that she will be responsible for repairing almost 524 square feet of sidewalk, costing nearly $3,700.

"I don't want to pay to have it done, but it's gotta be done," she said, adding that she plans to hire a private contractor to do the work in an attempt to save some money.

Though Mrs. Smith has the largest amount of sidewalk to repair, other residents living in the Moundview Subdivision will also be responsible for repairing their sidewalks this year as part of the third phase of the city's annual sidewalk program.

The targeted subdivision holds 251 parcels with sidewalks that are about 50 years old, said Andrea Beard, the city's project representative. It's bounded by Brown and Woodville roads, Wheeling Street, and the south corporation line.

This is the third year authorities with the public service department have identified the oldest neighborhoods in the city - which have the oldest sidewalks - and required that the sidewalks be fixed.

"We're kind of going by age of the subdivisions, so this is the next oldest area of the city," Ms. Beard said.

Oregon's municipal code authorizes the city to require property owners to repair deficient sidewalks - meaning those that have cracks, gaps, or elevated slopes - and allows officials to assess the property owners who don't repair the sidewalks themselves. Sidewalks damaged by nearby trees are the only exceptions - the city will pick up those costs, Public Service Director Paul Roman said.

The total estimated cost of the project is $118,417, with the city responsible for paying $25,295 of that amount, Ms. Beard said.

She expects about half of residents will choose to fix the sidewalks themselves before the June 16 deadline.

Residents who choose to allow the city to do the work for them can expect to pay about $7 to repair each square foot of sidewalk that department officials deem in need of work. Effected residents are also required to pay a $25 or $30 permit fee for the work, Ms. Beard said.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-September. Property owners who decline to fix their own sidewalks will receive repair assessments for sidewalks on their property in December.

The sidewalk program began in 2004 for residents in the Euclid Park area north of Navarre Avenue and west of Wheeling. Last year's program was for sidewalks in an area south of Starr Avenue and west of Wheeling.

Sidewalks in other portions of the city will be looked at annually, and Mr. Roman said all deficient sidewalks will be repaired within the next several years.



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