The Elk Point City Council was scheduled to hold second and final reading to Ordinance No. 407, Sidewalks, at its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 14.
The city currently has no requirement for sidewalks in the community and a number of properties either have never had sidewalks or removed them at some time. However, some council members still had reservations on how the ordinance would be implemented, especially in older neighborhoods.
Those concerns were amplified when Richard Peasley spoke to the council about how expensive it would be for him to add sidewalks to his property at 703 E. Clay Street. He has an estimate of $25,000 to move trees and the sprinkler system and add over three feet of fill. He asked what the city intended to do about properties like his.
“I’d like to understand your plan,” Peasley said. “So if you could explain to me, is there any actual plan that says these are the streets that are going to be built? Is there as list, or grant money available?”
City Administrator Derek Tuttle said there is no list of properties that have to build sidewalks. The ordinance calls for the city to install ADA-compliant corners whenever a street is paved or repaved. Then the property owner would have to install a sidewalk.
Council member Lance Penfield said he thinks to ordinance could require Peasley to build sidewalks once Wood Street is paved next year. At that time, City Engineer Kim McLaury would have to design the project to include the ADA-compliant corners and sidewalks would have to connect to them.
“We’re going to tie ourselves into this, and we’re going to be dealing with these situations all the time,” Penfield said. “I think that if we’re going to require that, we have to pay for it. I’m serious. This is where I’m getting hung up on this whole sidewalk thing… these old places were not designed for sidewalks when they were first put in.”
“Unfortunately, when a road’s redone, they’re going to put those ramps in regardless,” Tuttle said. “So we have dead-end ramps, or we fill in the sidewalks or somebody fills in the sidewalks.”
See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.