Funding sidewalk repairs and replacement squares is now part of the City of Racine’s levy, but how to administer the $355,000 pilot program is up in the air because of whether or not it’s fair to everyone.
At the heart of the question is where to direct work because should the program end after this year, city property owners will once again be on the hook for sidewalk costs, a story in The Journal Times reads; all those except for homeowners who benefitted from being part of the pilot program.
To address who gets what and when, Public Works Commissioner Mark Yehlen developed a plan that would tackle sidewalks that are the subject of complaints followed by high pedestrian traffic, and, finally, geographic zones, the story continues.
Under the previous system, property owners paid for sidewalk repair or replacement on their own land, but the Common Council voted last November to give the pilot program a go after a fee-based system was rejected.
Yehlen admitted to the Public Works and Services Committee there are a lot of unknowns because the city has never had to budget for all the work that goes into sidewalk repair and replacement, but he feels confident his plan is the most equitable way to go. Alderperson Sandy Weidner pushed for the program to be part of the city budget and told the newspaper she hopes it continues, while Council President Dennis Wiser said he isn’t sure which way he’d vote this fall but said the matter will definitely be part of budget talks.
The Public Works and Services Committee will continue its discussion at its June 14 meeting.