Sidewalk Repairs Come With Big Bills

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It has been more than a year since the City of Athens ordered a special assessment for homeowners on North Congress Street, and while not all homeowners were happy about the costs most have been happy with the results.

The special assessment was made for sidewalk repairs on Central Avenue, North Congress Street and South May Avenue. According to media reports, the city estimated homeowners would need more than $5,000 to fix their sidewalks.

While some complained about the costs, the city said the deteriorated condition of the sidewalks made the repairs necessary.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 9.36.29 AM“As a homeowner you are in charge of your sidewalks,” Councilwoman Michelle Papai said. “Sidewalks can be a serious safety issue, so this is the final assessment to charge those owners for the completion of the sidewalk improvements.”

Papai said she is pleased with both how the situation was handled and the repairs.

“They’re hands down improved 100 percent, especially I would say North Congress” she said. “People have been thrilled.”

Area residents echoed that sentiment.

“There is this one section that you always have to jump over when you are on a run,” Ohio University junior and Congress Resident Gia Vacarro said. “This summer our sidewalks were really bad and I fell down and got my knees cut up, so having these fixed is just like a lot easier.”

Papai said the city is accepting bids for similar work on Richland Avenue between the bridges.  No date has been announced for when that work might begin.