The City of Fort Wayne’s Public Works Division and I recently announced plans to make it easier for residents to partner with the City to fix neighborhood sidewalks and curbs.
The updated plan restructures the cost sharing program for repairing neighborhood public sidewalks, increasing the financial contribution from the City and decreasing the investment requested from property owners. Through the City’s Barrett Law petition program, the City will increase its participation to 50 percent of the concrete sidewalk and curb projects petitioned by residents for public walks abutting their property. Previously, the sidewalk repair was a 60/40 split with residents paying 60 percent of the improvement costs and the City paying 40 percent.
The savings to residents varies by the size of the project. Using an example of a $1,000 sidewalk improvement project, the resident will now save $100. Under the former system, the property owner would have paid $600 as their share of the improvement but with the 50/50 plan they will pay $500.
In 2014, we became the first administration in the City’s history to dedicate funding for sidewalk maintenance. At that time, I announced $500,000 in Public Works funds would be invested each year in sidewalk maintenance, fixing badly broken sidewalks and trip hazards. With 1,600 miles of sidewalks in the City, it could take 10 years to fix all trip hazards, but the changes to the cost-share partnership will allow residents to make those improvements sooner.
Residents who have asked to participate in sidewalk and curb cost-share repair projects this year will get the benefit of the new cost-share structure.
Maintaining and enhancing our infrastructure is critical to being a City that’s positioned for growth and success. It keeps our neighborhoods strong, enhances our quality of life and keeps our community moving in the right direction.