Thursday, September 27, 2001

Mason fund may help fix sidewalks




By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — City Council may create a fund to help property owners repair some of the 33 miles of sidewalks in the city.

        If the plan is approved, Mason would split the costs of repairing and replacing sidewalks with property owners. The idea, proposed by Councilman James“Dick” Staten, received widespread support on City Council.

        “I would certainly support it,” Mayor John McCurley said at Monday's City Council meeting.

        Councilwoman Charlene Pelfrey agreed.

        “It has to be done and soon,” she said.

        Mason homeowners are assessed the costs of building sidewalks and for repairing existing ones.

        Mr. Staten said the city is prepared to kick in between $25,000 and $50,000 of general fund money to establish the fund, which could be in place by the end of this year.

        “We have talked about this for so long, and today with our citizens being so health conscious and with everybody out there walking, riding bicycles and pushing baby strollers, the sidewalk system has become more important,” Mr. Staten said. “This is an obligation I think we need to share with our citizens.”

        Mr. Staten said some of the city's worst sidewalks can be found along Kings Mills Road and Church Street.

        Councilman Peter Beck supports establishing a sidewalk fund for repairs, and believes more money should be set aside.

        “It should be a little bit more because if you start the work on some of the sidewalks, it might take all of that allocation and some people would have to wait until the next year,” Mr. Beck said.

        City spokeswoman Jennifer Trepal said the city has never had a fund to help property owners pay for sidewalk repairs.

        In Middletown and Fairfield, homeowners can either hire contractors to repair sidewalks or let the cities' contractors make the repairs and pay the costs.

       



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