The city of Marysville has matching funds available for property owners whose sidewalks need a little TLC.
Sidewalk maintenance is the property owner's responsibility, according to city ordinance. But the Sidewalk Improvement Program gives homeowners and business owners matching funds to make repairs. The city has set aside $15,000 from the general fund for this year's program.
Residents must submit an application along with a project estimate. If the sidewalk meets the minimum criteria, property owners can be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost, or a maximum of $1,500.
City Engineer Jeremy Hoyt said the program is mutually beneficial.
"By funding this program, the city will be better able to provide for pedestrian safety and reduce property owner liability for trip-and-fall incidents," Hoyt said. "Also, well-maintained sidewalks improve the appearance of neighborhoods and increase property values."
The program started in 2007. In the last few years, the city has had only a few applicants for $10,000 in funding, but participation has steadily increased.
In 2011, four applicants used $4,166. In 2012, six applicants used $3,325. In 2013, nine applicants used $9,607.
Since nearly all of the funds were used last year, the city increased the allocation to $15,000 for 2014. So far, four applicants have used $1,850, leaving $13,150 in the 2014 fund.
To determine if a project qualifies for reimbursement, each sidewalk is rated on a scale, with higher numbers representing heavier damage.
According to the city's website, "Sidewalk sections rated 5, 4 or 3 will qualify for repair as funds become available. Sidewalks rated 0, 1 or 2 will not qualify for matching funds but the scoring will be included to determine rankings for funding."
Property owners should submit a completed Sidewalk Improvement Program application, an estimate from a licensed and approved contractor registered with the city, and the required zoning permit application.
The city will then rate and approve or disapprove each project. If approved, the city will waive the sidewalk permit fee and assign a deadline for project completion and payment.
Work can begin once an application is approved. When a project is done, the property owner submits the contractor's invoice showing the final cost.
The city will then mail a check to the property owner, who pays the contractor.
Applications will be taken on a first come, first serve basis until the matching funds are gone. For more information, visit marysvilleohio.org or call Hoyt at 937-645-7358.