•by Alan McArthur
The Platte City Public Works Committee is developing a new plan to help residents pay for the maintenance or repair of city sidewalks.
The plan, presented in a committee meeting on Monday night, calls for the cost of installing a new sidewalk to be split between the resident and Platte City.
According to estimates from Leonard Hendricks, public works director, the cost for materials to put in one linear foot of sidewalk is $8.50 and the cost of labor by the city is $6.50. Altogether the cost is around $15 per linear foot of sidewalk.
“This may be the right time to present this cost sharing plan for residents to put in sidewalks or replace old ones,” said Keith Moody, city administrator. “You could budget so much for this a year and create a waiting list.”
According to the proposed plan, the public works department would perform the sidewalk work.
“I don’t think it’s a bad program, my only concern is stretching the public works department beyond its means,” said Aaron Jung, alderman.
“We can have residents submit applications to the public works subcommittee to be approved,” said Moody.
The plan would still need to be approved first by the board of aldermen before it can become an ordinance.
The public works committee also discussed the 2008 Capital Improvement Program, CIP. According to the CIP, many streets in Platte City will be repaired with new asphalt and broken curbs will be replaced.
The committee also discussed the impact of repairing streets on the driveways of residents.
“Some people have put material at the end of their driveway to ease the lazy-back curb bump,” said Moody. “Having these curb helpers pushes the water back into the street and deteriorates the asphalt faster. The board will have to decide on a standard of whether or not to allow the curb helpers.”
Jung suggested a mailing to residents of Platte City to notify them about street improvements and about discussion for a new ordinance.
“It’s best to get this out in the air and notify residents of our initiatives,” said Jung.
Moody responded that there currently is an ordinance applying to curb helpers.
“We do have an ordinance stopping people from putting anything in the street or altering our streets,” said Moody. “You have to decide whether to allow them to continue or not.”
Besides causing damage to streets, curb helpers can also cause damage to city equipment.
“They tear up equipment all the time. Snow plow blades get torn up or the plow will tear up the curb helper,” said Hendricks. “It’s impossible to see them in the winter.”
The committee resolved to let Moody find out prices for removing and prices for reinstalling the curb helpers.