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Time for sidewalk repairs

By IVY KELLER • Aug 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Norwalk City Council will be reviewing three ordinances and four resolutions during its work session at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the municipal court.

The topics vary widely, from two resolutions regarding the development of state bike routes, to a resolution related to the city’s 2017 sidewalk construction program.

Council will review resolutions for the designation of two bike routes which would travel through town, State Bike Route 30 and State Bike Route 65. According to the resolutions, the routes may change over time as new facilities are constructed to serve bicyclists.

The resolutions cite North America’s growing bicycle tourism industry, claiming that the bike routes would promote tourism in the Norwalk area.

Council will also discuss the tax reciprocity ordinance during the work session, as well as a sidewalk program.

According to Public Works Director Josh Snyder, this is an annual program.

“We have an inspector who has gone out and identified defective sections of sidewalk — cracked, broken, missing,” Snyder said. 

The inspector identifies trip hazards or sidewalks in disrepair, and there are one of two ways the sidewalk is repaired. The person who owns the lot or land where the sidewalk is located receives a notice to either repair the sidewalk, or reimburse the city for repairs.

“We send a letter to each property owner in those areas where we have those defective walks,” Snyder explained. “They can do the work themselves, [or] have a contractor do it. If they don’t do anything, we will have the work done and send them an invoice at the end of the project. If they don’t do anything again, it rolls over into their taxes.”

Depending on the amount charged to the resident, they have a certain period of time to repay the city — between two to 10 years.

Council will also look at other resolutions affecting city infrastructure, including one to make improvements to Old State Road. It would authorize the mayor to apply for Ohio Public Works Commission funding up to $350,000, which would be used in a project to widen the road. 

The city would be required to match $185,439 in funds to participate in the grant program.

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