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Editorial: Community benefits from assistance for sidewalk fixes


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Good sidewalks and curbs play an important role in a community. They’re part of infrastructure that promotes commerce, safe neighborhoods and healthy lifestyles.

However, repairing or replacing sidewalks and curbs can cost thousands of dollars, and realistically the cost is out of reach for many Columbus residents.

Thankfully, a revamped city program is helping property owners cover those costs, which in turn benefits surrounding neighborhoods. The Shared Cost Sidewalk and Curb Program reimburses $4 per square foot of sidewalk replacement and $25 per linear foot for approved curb projects.

Previously, the city did not reimburse for curb repairs and offered a $10 reimbursement match per linear foot of sidewalk replacement — about $2 per square foot.

The financial assistance is important because property owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing sidewalks and curbs, according to city ordinance. The city is responsible for repairing city streets, alleys and curb ramps.

Newton Street resident Sean Mathews paid more than $11,000 for sidewalk and curb repairs and said he wouldn’t have been able to replace them without the city reimbursement program.

The city has about $60,000 available for reimbursement on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the program, people can call 812-376-2540 or go to the city’s website at columbus.in.gov/engineering/sidewalks.

With this financial help available, it behooves property owners to at least check into the program to see how it might benefit them. They just might find that a large portion of the costs of needed repairs for sidewalks and curbs can be covered.

That’s a winning scenario for the property owners, their neighborhoods and the community as a whole.

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