City to keep working on guidelines for fixing sidewalks

May 23, 2013 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

A proposed ordinance that would apply guidelines to sidewalk replacements failed this month to pass first reading from the Riverton City Council.

Current city code requires homeowners to pay for repairing, replacing or building the sidewalks on their properties.

The Fix Our Roads Citizens Committee had proposed seven standards that would serve as a repair guide for homeowners. For instance, if the sidewalk had a vertical difference of 1 inch or greater, or if there was pitting or spalling on more than 50 percent of the sidewalk's surface, then the city ordinance would require that the sidewalk be replaced.

FORCC agreed to use the 1 percent tax money to repair curbs and gutters on 83 sections of roadways and said that because they're connected to the sidewalks, completing the project all at once would be best.

The council recommended that the standards only be presented as suggestions to homeowners rather than amending the city code and requiring it.

"Is this truly something that we need to put into our city code or is it something that could be directed as a guideline to the people making the decision who already have authority based on city code?" council member Jonathan Faubion asked the council. "As a legal standard, it could create all kinds of other issues."

Mayor Ron Warpness suggested changing the language in the code amendment.

"I do think that it's important that we do have some guidelines, if you can soften the language in here a little bit," he said.

The mayor also recommended creating a brochure and including pictures in it so homeowners could get a better understanding of the standards. Public services director Bill Urbigkit said he would tell FORCC the council's decision and return with a different proposal.

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