Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sidewalk repair plan is delayed

There was no lack of participation in recent discussion of the sidewalk repair plan in Plymouth Township.
Dozens of township residents participated in a recent four-hour public hearing with the members of the board of trustees to express their opposition to the sidewalk plan that requires residents to pay for repairs to sidewalks determined to be hazardous.

In addition to those participating in the meeting, more than 100 residents also left voice mail messages at township hall protesting the plan and voicing their concerns about the costs of the program to homeowners. Members of the board subsequently opted to postpone the repair program for this year.
Township Supervisor Kurt Heise said that the overwhelming response prompted the board members to postpone the program, which allowed residents five-years to pay for the repairs. The program, which began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, based the repairs on examinations of subdivision sidewalks by township engineers who made determinations as to the safety of the walkways. Residents were then notified by mail of any repairs of sidewalks on their property and the estimated cost of the repairs which were to be completed by a contractor hired by the township.
That process will now be delayed, officials said.
This is a standard municipal practice and is in place in cities and townships throughout the state. The sidewalk repairs are considered essential due to the potential for lawsuits should pedestrians suffer injuries due to the unsafe conditions of sidewalks in the township.
The last such program in Plymouth Township took place in 2016. The program set for 2019 did not take place due to the high cost submitted by contractors bidding on the work, officials said. The program will resume next year, according to township sources.