Reynoldsburg City Council eyes sidewalk-repair legislation

Kelley Rodriguez
ThisWeek

Reynoldsburg City Council is expected to pass a sidewalk-repair ordinance April 26 to help keep up with the city’s aging infrastructure.  

The city is expected to begin inspecting and repairing sidewalks later this spring in conjunction with its annual street-maintenance program, so repairs can be done simultaneously.  

Under Ohio law, municipalities may repair sidewalks and assess the cost to property owners, who are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks directly abutting their properties. 

Reynoldsburg City Hall

According to a draft of the ordinance presented at council’s March 22 meeting, the program will require owners of all of “lots and lands bounding and abutting upon the area” of the proposed annual inspection, repair and maintenance program to “construct and/or repair (sidewalks) in accordance with the plans and specifications currently on file” with the city. 

Dozens of addresses are targeted for sidewalk repair or replacement this year along Papillon Avenue; Bergenia and Tatra courts; and Bergenia, Fallriver, Hilton, Linick, Priestley and Taylor Mills drives, according to information from the city. Those streets are included in the city’s 2021 street-resurfacing plans. 

Per-property sidewalk repair estimates range from $88 to $2,088, according to initial costs provided March 22 by EMH&T engineering. 

Residents can be cited individually for not keeping sidewalks near their properties in good repair, Public Service Director William Dorman said, but making such repairs part of the annual program will allow the city to better maintain the community. 

“Right now, when we get a complaint, we will go out and investigate,” he said. “It is the property owner’s responsibility … however, that really hasn’t been addressed in recent years.  

“This will make it part of the annual program. We will look and inspect all the sidewalks that abut the streets that we’re redoing – that way, we come in and do everything at once.”  

Also according to the draft legislation, once a notice is received, a property owner will have 30 days to make the repairs themselves. 

Property owners who do not make the repairs will be included in the city’s contract and will have the option to pay Reynoldsburg directly or have costs assessed on their property taxes, Dorman said. 

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