Dublin's annual sidewalk maintenance program will cost less than anticipated.

Dublin's annual sidewalk maintenance program will cost less than anticipated.

The program, which will fix sidewalks along Franz Road, Earlington Parkway and subdivisions in the Reserve, Kerry Glen and the Woods of Indian Run will cost the city almost 30 percent less than expected.

Dublin City Council last week approved G & G Cement Contractors LLC as the lowest bidder for the annual summer project with a bid of $87,873. City engineer Paul Hammersmith said the city planned to spend $125,000 on the project.

The city has experimented with rubberized sidewalks in the past, Hammersmith said, to see how the material works with tree roots that damage concrete sidewalks. Residents have called to complain about the color and heat of the rubberized sidewalks during the summer, Hammersmith said.

Because the price for rubberized sidewalks is three to four times more than regular sidewalks, Hammersmith said, "staff is not recommending we pursue this as part of the sidewalk repair program."

Councilman Richard Gerber said after hearing complaints on the rubberized sidewalks he was happy the city was going back to regular sidewalks, but councilwoman Amy Salay said the city might want to spend a little more money on sidewalks instead of replacing trees.

Hammersmith said the city will trim tree roots to keep sidewalks from being "heaved" by tree roots.

"We will not remove trees," he said. "We will continue root trimming before we remove a tree."

The sidewalk maintenance program will begin later this spring.

"We will begin work this spring and it should be complete by the beginning of the school year, or much earlier than that," Hammersmith said.

In other news, council members approved an ordinance amending a portion of the zoning code.

The ordinance, which adds day care and tutoring as conditional uses to Community Commercial District zoning, was approved in a unanimous vote among the four council members attending.

Finance director Marsha Grigsby also gave council an update on the city's financial standing, with the release of first quarter numbers.

According to Grigsby, the city's income tax is down by 3 percent compared to last year, but Dublin is still in good shape.

"The general fund balance is still within target.... Even though there is concern we're still in good financial standing," she said.

Grigsby said she will continue to update council on the city's financial state throughout the year.