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SidewalkIn the wake of a terrible winter and the mixed results from the city’s Mandatory Snow Shoveling ordinance, the City Council (nee Board of Aldermen) is looking to “double down” when it comes to sidewalks.

A special public hearing will be held this Thurs, April 2 at 7:30 PM in the Counciloric Chambers to gauge public sentiment towards enacting a Mandatory Sidewalk Maintenance  ordinance.  The ordinance would require that homeowners assume responsibility for maintaining the pavement and curbs in front of there homes, or face stiff penalties.

The Board has asked the Dept of Public Works to present estimates of how much money the city could save annually if homeowners were to do the repair and replacement of sidewalks and curbs themselves.  The savings are expected to be in the millions a year.

At least initially, the proposal is for a two year trial ordinance.  Residents under “financial duress” may also apply for an exemption from the rules.  In the interest of equity, an amendment will also be debated that would extend an equal obligation to those home owners without sidewalks – “they’d just have to spruce up their unpaved patch, maybe plant a few flowers or something” said one Councilor, speaking off the record.

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