During the sidewalk assessment hearing Tuesday, July 1, concerns were raised about whether some sidewalks needed to be replaced or not.
Alderman Jim Krause addressed the Street Committe on behalf of Christus Church. He questioned the amount of sidewalks that were marked for replacement near the church. “I think it’s really an overkill and I really don’t know exactly how they are going about doing it,” Krause said. “But I think it’s something we ought to have the chance to have someone come in and look at this rather than just objectively walk around with a spray can and spray all over the sidewalks.”
Krause said he believed 23 sections of sidewalk around the church were marked for replacement. He said that didn’t include the sidewalks designated to have the edges ground down.
Most churches don’t have this in their budget, Krause said.
He added that he was previously told that if a section of sidewalk was raised a half inch, it was slated for replacement.
“I went around with a tape measure and I measured them and almost half of them there are not a half an inch raised. Some of them have cracks in them, I’ll admit that,” Krause said.
He acknowledged that six sections at the church were replaced last year because they were cracked and in bad shape.
“I have no objection to that,” Krause said. “But some of them marked this year, someone was pretty overzealous with that spray can.”
Robert Pelky addressed the committee about a section of sidewalk by his property that has a sinkhole next to it. He said he feels the sinkhole caused the sidewalk to break, and he feels he shouldn’t have to pay to fix it if the sinkhole caused the sidewalk damage.
He called the city two months ago, at which time a barricade was placed by the sinkhole. Nothing else was done, he said.
During committee discussion on resolution 2014-12 Sidewalk Final Special Assessment, committee member Greg Rose said he felt a re-evaluation of the sidewalks by Christus Church is needed.
“Their bill is like $3,000. And I know that they got it last year, I was on the Street Committee last year as well, so they’re looking at $4,000. I think last year’s [cost] was $1,000. I do think that they do need to have a re-evaluation done,” Rose said.
Rose said the sidewalk at Pelky’s property should also be re-evaluated.
Toby Kersten, director of Public Works for the city of Clintonville, informed the committee he and the street foreman looked at the sidewalks at the Pelky property and Christus Church. Kersten, who started as director of Public Works in June, said he questioned many of the marked sidewalks at the church because they didn’t look “that bad.”
“They are cracked or broken in some manner, but at the time we inspected them there wasn’t a trip hazard,” Kersten said.
He said the street foreman told him the sidewalks were worse when they were marked.
“With the frost being as deep as it was this year, I figure they could have been heaved and as the frost went out they went back down and now they don’t look that bad,” Kersten said.
He added, “If the frost is heaving them and they are cracked, they become a trip hazard. I wasn’t here for the first assessment.”
Before voting on the resolution, committee members Rose and Jerry Jorgenson, asked for clarification that there was a provision in the resolution that would allow for re-evaluations of sidewalks if requested.
“I take it to mean we’re going to proceed with the resolution and accommodate those people who request to have their [sidewalks re-evaluated],” said Phil Rath, committee chairman.
Committee member Mary Beth-Kuester added that this is something the city has to do because the city can be held liable.
“We certainly want to be understanding of property owners, but again, the plan is we don’t do the whole city all the time, but we have to keep working at it. If we don’t, we’re in big trouble,” Kuester said.
The committee passed the resolution 5-0. It went before the entire city council at its meeting, Tuesday, July 8.