Oregon City Council will consider submitting an application to the Ohio Department of Development for a $75,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for sidewalk and street improvements.
City Council at a committee of the whole meeting last Monday agreed to place the resolution on the following Monday’s council meeting agenda.
The funds would be used to complete the third phase of improvements within the Pickle Road area. Paving replacement on Pickle Road would connect improvements made through the Wheeling Street widening project and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Pickle Road overpass project.
The funds would also be used for sidewalk improvements on Munding and Isaac streets. The improvements would provide a continuous pedestrian route, connecting improvements made through the Wheeling Street widening project and the fiscal year 2009 CDBG Pickle Road Phase 2 sidewalk project.
Council member Sandy Bihn said she has received an increasing number of inquiries from the public regarding safety issues from a lack of sidewalks from Coy Road to the area near Wal-Mart on State Route 2.
“People say they are walking along the edge, that people are in wheelchairs along the edge. There are a lot of apartments on State Route 2, and they’re worried about safety. A church at the corner of Coy and Navarre came to a Route 2 meeting last week specifically to talk about sidewalks. They understood they would be assessed, but they’re willing because they see safety issues that are there,” said Bihn. “I think it’s a valid concern. Rather than waiting until something happens, it might be nice if we could be proactive in looking at it and find ways to do it, when the public especially is coming out and saying they recognize there’s a safety problem in that area,” she said.
Mayor Mike Seferian said if those property owners wish to petition for sidewalks in that area, the city would accept the petition. .
“To order them in at their expense would be tough to do. If we put them in at the city expense, I would feel comfortable if we had some grant money to do that. Other than that, I would be waiting for a petition from the actual property owners, unless we had a program that would actually fund those at the city’s minimal expense,” said Seferian.
City council on Monday will also be considering the continuation of the city’s sidewalk replacement and repair program.
The city is currently inspecting sidewalks in neighborhoods to determine which are in need of repair. If a sidewalk is in need of repair, the city will mark it with a white letter “0,” and will pay for its repair or replacement if it is damaged by tree roots located within the public right of way.
Public Service Director Paul Roman said it is the city’s sixth year of making repairs to existing sidewalks.
“This program area is for newer subdivisions east of Coy, or subdivisions that have been built within the last 20-25 years. It is very similar to what we’ve done in past years,” said Roman.
If council approves of the resolution, the public will receive a formal notice by certified mail requiring deficient sidewalks be repaired within 45 days. The public can either repair their own sidewalks, or hire a contractor within the 45 days, or allow the city to make the repairs. The city would hire a contractor to perform the work and assess costs against the property owner. If the public hires their own licensed contractor to perform the work, or replaces their own sidewalks, they must first obtain a sidewalk permit from the city’s Building and Zoning Department. A permit is only required for reconstructing or replacing a sidewalk, not for repairs.
“In the past, assessments are based on repairs that occur within the frontage. The cost may vary. In most cases, at least within the last couple of years, normally, 75 percent of the people make their own repairs before the city actually does any work,” said Roman.
For more information, contact the city at 698-7162.