Before the City rolls-in to a neighborhood with the asphalt milling and paving machines, the Engineering Department will check the condition of the curbs, gutters and sidewalks on those streets to schedule those repairs in advance of the street repairs.
The idea is that streets, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks all work together to ensure safe driving, safe walking, and proper stormwater collection — so if you’re going to fix one, you need to make sure the rest of the team is in decent working condition as well. Plus, if you’re going to be in the neighborhood fixing stuff, let’s fix as much as we can while we’re there.
The City picks up the tab on the asphalt and a fair amount of the concrete work too, but the concrete work requires a little more house by house analysis to comply with the City Code which has a range of scenarios that split the concrete costs with the property owner.
Typically the City Engineers will try to coordinate the concrete work the season before the asphalt work is scheduled to be done. As they make their rounds, they take notes on what needs to be repaired, they figure out how much the job will cost, and then refer to the City Code to calculate how much the City will pay and how much the homeowner is expected to pay.
Once they’ve run those calculations, Engineering then mails letters to the effected homeowners to let them know the plan and to give them a first look at their projected cost.
The homeowner may have options available to reduce their costs — example, if the house is owner occupied, City Council has authorized a 50% reduction in the homeowner’s share of the bill, and if the owner can demonstrate that they fall into a “low to moderate income” category, City Council has authorized Engineering to pick up 100% of the costs.
Also, if they’re handy, homeowners can also save some money by doing the concrete repair work themselves or they may use a contractor of their choice.
The idea is to provide options for homeowners who would love to have the repair work done but may not necessarily have budgeted for the repairs.
Right now Engineering has mailed letters out to the next round of homeowners in line for concrete repairs so I thought it was a good time to review the process.
If anyone is uncertain of what to do, the best bet is to contact Pat Homin, City Engineering Technician, to talk through the options with him in person. His number is (330) 678-8106.