Chardon Residents Object to Proposed Sidewalk Legislation
You can't say 'Not on my property. Phil King
A resolution of necessity for repair, maintenance and construction of sidewalks in the City of Chardon was heard by city council for the first time last Thursday.
No action was taken on the legislation, but several residents said, if passed, it will represent a financial hardship for property owners.
Dennis Pavel of South Street said if everybody is going to be able to use the sidewalks, the city should pay for the infill program.
“There’s going to be a considerable expense to a small number of homeowners,” Pavel said.
Another South Street resident said her household of five is expensive to maintain and she doesn’t have the funds to pay for a sidewalk to be installed.
She asked how much extra her taxes will be if the city assesses the sidewalk it puts in front of her home.
“The council is trying to make it more affordable. We understand your position,” Mayor Phil King said.
“I don’t want to lose my house,” she said after speaking to the council.
City Solicitor Jim Gillette said the Ohio Revised Code requires property owners to install sidewalks.
However, about half the city’s streets lack sidewalks because the city has not enforced the law. Where sidewalks exist along private property, the owners have paid for the work, he said.
But, if the city requires a sidewalk, the property owner must comply.
“You can’t say ‘Not on my property,'” King said.
The resolution, which takes up more than two legal-size pages, spells out:
The city will pass a resolution for the construction, repair or replacement of sidewalks in specific area annually over the next eight years;
The city will take over sidewalk maintenance and repair of the sidewalks in 2022, when the current sidewalk infill program is complete;
A sidewalk assessment on all property owners will provide funds for maintenance, repair and construction of sidewalks that are the responsibility of the municipality;
Funds to install sidewalks along city property will be collected in 2014;
The 2014 Chardon Sidewalk Maintenance, Repair and Construction District will be created in accordance with the ORC, including all properties within the city;
About $100,000 will be necessary to install sidewalks in 2015 and to accrue funds for future maintenance and repair, and;
The amount will be assessed from the effective date of the resolution.
The assessment will add about $36.52 per year to the annual property tax on an average home (valued at $160,500), according to figures given at a special council meeting June 25.
In case of extenuating circumstances, such as when topography will require extensive excavating and grading, council agreed at the special meeting the city will cover some of the costs and the property owner will pay for the concrete work.
King said last Thursday the resolution, which will be heard in the next two council meetings before being voted upon, is available on the city website www.chardon.cc. and council’s discussion about the resolution can be seen on GTV.
He urged residents to make their concerns heard.
“Please come and talk to council,” King said.
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