BEAVERCREEK — An agreement was made between the city and a homeowner’s association to help replace a sidewalk owned by property owners, but was also on a main thoroughfare.
Tara Falls approached the city earlier this year for a partnership in replacing a decaying sidewalk section at a shared cost of 50 percent. Council approved the agreement.
“This situation is a first of its kind,” City Engineer Jeff Moorman said.
The section to be replaced is located on the south side of Shakertown Road between Southern Belle Blvd. and Graystone Drive and was originally constructed in 1990. It’s an asphalt walkway that varies in widths and is close to a drainage structure owned by the city. It’s quickly decaying and has become hazardous to pedestrians, especially children riding bicycles. The cost to the city will be $50,000.
“I explained to them that we don’t currently have a sidewalk plan and that the city wouldn’t take on a project like this at 100 percent, but after some negotiations, the association agreed to contribute 50 percent,” Moorman said. “I think it’s a great proposal and I recommend approval.”
The city plans to remove the old asphalt and replace it with a consistent 6-foot concrete sidewalk to meet with the current standards. Because bids came in low for the Col. Glenn Highway resurfacing project, the city has extra funds that could be allotted for this project.
But, since the city doesn’t have a current sidewalk replacement plan, some of the council members shared concerns. Currently, the standard is that homeowners are responsible for the sidewalks in front of surrounding their own home and bike paths are the responsibility of the city.
Council members Melissa Litteral and Julie Vann questioned who is responsible since this path is not technically a sidewalk nor considered a bike path.
“Since this is a homeowner’s association, I’m just a little concerned that we’re going to have other associations asking for assistance,” Councilwoman Litteral said. “I think it’s great that we’re partnering with them, but I think in the future we need to have something in place.”
“I don’t want this to be precedent to our sidewalk plan before we’ve had time to discuss it,” Councilwoman Vann said. Talks to develop such a plan will be discussed in the near future.
Vann asked Moorman what would need to be done if the city decided to make the sidewalk in question a bike path. He informed her that the city would have to purchase additional property from the homeowner’s association for the additional width required for a bike path.
She also questioned the urgency of the approval and asked if their decision could wait for another six months so they could put the sidewalk plan in place. Moorman explained that the city was planning on lumping this project in with the current curb and sidewalk bid request in hopes of getting a cheaper price. If they wait, the price could be higher.
“I like the idea of a partnership with the homeowner’s association and since this was on a major thoroughfare it was a good way to go for the city,” Councilwoman Debborah Wallace said.
The city expects to begin the sidewalk work in May or June. According the agreement, the project should be completed by Oct. 1.
The vote passed with Vann being the one opposing vote.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.