MONMOUTH — Monmouth city staff presented four options to council at their July 16 work session for dealing with sidewalk repairs.
The current city code places the financial burden of repairs on the property owner, said Russ Cooper, public works director.
“We’ve heard from property owners that, that burden is real,” Cooper said.
Options include: Maintain the current policy; Share costs between the city and the property owner; Emulate Corvallis’ sidewalk-repair program; or Have the city take over the responsibility.
“Those are four pretty broad concepts,” Cooper told councilors. “Scott (McClure, city manager) and I are hoping that from this conversation that we can go back and actually develop a plan that has real numbers for your actual consideration and adoption.”
Council directed him to get more information on the cost-share and Corvallis options.
For the cost-share option, the city would use the current system for identifying which sidewalks need repair, Cooper said.
“We’d look for high-traffic areas — areas on corridors that get to schools, downtown and the university,” he said.
With the cost-share option comes questions of how and how much the city contributes, eligibility and the city’s total financial commitment.
The option to model Corvallis’ program would divide properties into sidewalk repair districts, Cooper said in his report.
The city would survey the districts and hire a contractor to do necessary repairs. It would be paid for through a fee assessed to all utility bills.
Councilors Roxanne Beltz and Byron Shinkle said they wanted to have a lot of community input before a decision was made.
Laurel Sharmer said she thought it would be helpful to have Corvallis’ transportation maintenance supervisor talk with them.
“As we heard at last council meeting, someone stood up and said, ‘I don’t want to pay for other people’s sidewalks,’” Shinkle said.
Sharmer said she thinks that the majority of residents do not share that opinion.
Councilor Chris Lopez said, “There are a number of individuals in this town that are currently paying taxes towards roads that don’t have roads on their street. It doesn’t mean they don’t benefit from roads in the rest of the town.”