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Residents frustrated over cost of sidewalk maintenance

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 05:11:57-04

LANSING, Mich. — People who have a sidewalk on their property in Delhi Township are not happy after finding out the cost of upkeep.

The Township says its sidewalk ordinance needs to be enforced because of public safety, but residents think it's getting out of control.

Some residents in Holt are confused when they are coming out of their homes and finding X's and O's marked on their sidewalks.

That confusion, quickly turning into frustration, after finding out the repairs could cost them hundreds of dollars.

"It seemed kind of steep to me. Why is that our job? I thought that was the city's. But apparently we are responsible for the sidewalk in front of our house," Travis Valentine said.

The Valentine family had just moved into their house in Delhi Twp. when they received a letter in the mail.

It told them they had sidewalk panels on their property that aren't up to the townships standards and need to be fixed soon.

And they aren't the only ones.

"I called the Township and said I was concerned because I didn't think mine fell within guidelines of the ordinance," Diane Vincent said.

The ordinance says there cannot be a rise or drop of more than one inch between sidewalk squares.

In addition, there can't be more than two quarter-inch cracks on a panel, and panels can't be tilted more than one inch.

Lastly, panels can't be deteriorated more than 50%.

Vincent says there are certainly places repairs need to be made, but not as many as the township thinks.

"Most of these don't fall within their guidelines....and why should we have to repair it if it doesn't fall within their guidelines?"

FOX 47 spoke on the phone to Township Manager, Tracy Miller. She says the sidewalks were inspected this past spring and early summer and the ones that needed repairs were identified.

Next, they used the number to get cost estimates.

She says when it comes to the money, if residents can't find a better price to repair them on their own, they can split the bill with the township.

"We get it, nobody likes to pay for this kind of stuff. The intention of this program is to really soften the blow and to recognize that sidewalks are a benefit to the community at large," Miller explained.

Residents are thankful for the program, but that doesn't mean they are happy about having to foot half the bill.

"A lot of people don't have that kind of money," Vincent said.

"We haven't been here long, we're still unpacking and then we find out the joys of home ownership that we apparently are responsible for the sidewalk," Valentine added.

The township says that if residents want to fix the sidewalk themselves, they need to do so by September 30th.

If not, they will have to split the bill with the township.

To see the ordinance, click here.

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