Hundreds Of Homeowners Receive Defective Sidewalk Notices From City

Full story: WHOtv 40
City inspectors are making the rounds checking on Des Moines sidewalks. If you need repairs and don't make them yourself, the city will, and it isn't cheap. Full Story
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Creston, IA

#1 Jul 20, 2010
thats a bunch of crock, I have always been told that the sidewalks are city property, it's just another way for them to put money in their pockets and make the repairs our responibility. and if the sidewalks are ours, it should be our choice to fix them if we want too, if they are in poor shape then maybe but come on a few inches, quit being so picky!!!! Just another way to control us.

United States

#2 Jul 20, 2010
They did the same thing to us out here in Waukee with our sidewalks and are now doing it with the trees that are in the right of way. Typically city govt. When it suits THEM the sidewalk and the right of way and the trees in it are THEIRS. When it suits THEM the sidewalk, right of way, and trees in it are YOURS.

All this nitpicking over trees and sidewalks and yet my street still fills up like a pond everytime it rains.
Abigail Wasp

Des Moines, IA

#3 Jul 20, 2010
I really feel that the City should carry the burden of sidewalk costs. I too was appalled to find out that although the city holds all the rights of access, I have to pay for sidewalk repairs. In my opinion this is capitalism at it's worst!

I lived in another country for 40 years and paid my taxes to which the city in that country paid for all repairs to the sidewalk.
Has anyone told these people that they could possibly have the sidewalks lifted and relaid??
Heidi Ballwahn

Moline, IL

#4 Jul 20, 2010
This didn't get in the story or on air, but the city is also making us purchase a sidewalk permit that costs $20. So if the city sent 375 homeowners a notice to repair their sidewalk, the city just made $7,500, plus they might get a few fines collected. With the amount of job losses and reduced incomes families are facing, I can't beleive we have to worry about this now. I know we can't fight it and yes, some need replacing, but give us more time then!

Mason City, IA

#5 Jul 20, 2010
well I don't agree about the permit, but it's just like snow removal the sidewalk is in your yard why wouldn't you be responsible for it? I guess many people didn't ask the question when they purchased their homes.. and some of you want the city to take care of it???have you seen how they do road matiance??? The sidewalks would be a complete mess and we would lose our kids in the holes in the sidewalks..

San Francisco, CA

#6 Jul 20, 2010
OK, so if the city tree between the street curb and the sidewalk is causing the sidewalk to buckle would that not be the city's responsibility to repair that portion? They will come out and trim those trees at their cost if they have a down branch or one that is hanging too low or over a power line I know. I have 2 city trees on my corner lot that have buckled the sidewalk and really don't see why if the city maintains those trees why they shouldn't have to repair the sidewalk they damage too right? I'll gladly pay for the other couple panes that I need repaired but 90% of the sidewalk I have is being caused by those 2 trees.
Abigail Wasp

Des Moines, IA

#7 Jul 20, 2010
I think John if that were the case I would ask the city to repair your sidewalk at their cost! I'm sure this would generate a vigorous round of dialogue and hopefully negotiation that would benefit you in the longrun.

Bill, in regards to caring for the sidewalk infront of your property, I totally agree that it is our responsiblity to upkeep said areas. However, I don't feel that it's my responsiblity to pay for replacement of said areas that are for public use.

Our pavement is damaged where Mid-American replaced a power pole. When we called about a leaking gas pipe at the curb, Mid-American repaired that at their cost, why should it be different for sidewalks?

Des Moines, IA

#8 Jul 20, 2010
back in the late teens and early 1920's public work programs paid WW1 vets to build sidewalks and roads.. now the home owners get hosed by their city and state and they wonder why no one wants to live and retire in iowa? the side walk is way more importain than the levee and bridges.....

West Des Moines, IA

#9 Jul 20, 2010
The city came came through our neighborhood two or three years ago and fixed all of the sidewalks for free.
Newton guy

West Des Moines, IA

#10 Jul 20, 2010
That is crap, Its considered City Property why doesnt the city just fix it. Leave us Homeowners alone!
AP Mama

Pella, IA

#11 Jul 20, 2010
I thought it was common knowledge that the homeowner is responsible for the upkeep of their sidewalk? Sure, we can make it the cities responsibility but then property taxes would go through the roof. Pick your poison I suppose.

As a walker (I walk almost everywhere I need to go) I'm glad there are rules regarding the upkeep of sidewalks...keeps lazy and irresponsible homeowners from letting the sidewalks fall apart. I wish Knoxville would get on people, the sidewalks in that town are wretched.
Newton guy

West Des Moines, IA

#12 Jul 20, 2010
I do get snow removal and mowing the front parts from sidewalk to road even when its considered City Property, Its easy work and make it easier and cheaper on the city to have the home owners do the work.
Abigail Wasp

Des Moines, IA

#13 Jul 20, 2010
Lazy? Would this be a person who has money speaking?

A co-worker paid $300 to have one section lifted and relaid 5 years ago. That's exorbitant.

This is a very expensive State/Country to own a home. Here you worry about replacing roofs, replacing expensive sidewalks and worrying about keeping basements dry.

Don't forget that the City's formula for apportional costs is highly questionable. Most of the burden appears to land on homeowners.
Wake up

San Francisco, CA

#14 Jul 20, 2010
And, and, and the city makes me shovel the snow off the sidewalk too! Who are they to make me take some responsibility? Homeowners being required to maintain sidewalks has been a rule since Fred and Barney had to fix theirs.

San Francisco, CA

#15 Jul 20, 2010
Again, I have no problem paying for replacing sidewalk that clearly needs the repair, however, the portions that have been damaged by trees the city I guess "owns" and maintains shouldn't they be responsible for the damage they caused and make the repairs at their cost? If one of my tree limbs falls and hits my neighbor's house I would bet it would be my insurance not theirs paying for it.

Let's just say if I get one of these notices for those spots I'm going to ask the city to remove their 2 trees before I repair the sidewalk because it's just going to buckle again as the roots keep growing. Wouldn't they rather just pay for the sidwalk and not the tree removal?
Abigail Wasp

Des Moines, IA

#16 Jul 20, 2010
Wake up wrote:
And, and, and the city makes me shovel the snow off the sidewalk too! Who are they to make me take some responsibility? Homeowners being required to maintain sidewalks has been a rule since Fred and Barney had to fix theirs.
Fortunately we have progression since Fred & Barney in the stone age!

Did I buy the land right up to the curb or did I buy the land up to where the sidewalk begins?
Ha Ha

Manchester, IA

#17 Jul 20, 2010
Some of these comments are great. But seriously, just because some people dont know anything about sidewalk laws need to read more and open their mouths less. The government is not doing anything illegal. And I would much rather fix it myself for pretty cheap than have the city charge me an arm and a leg.
the other bob

Ankeny, IA

#18 Jul 20, 2010
Ill fix my walk when thye fix the potholes
Wake up

San Francisco, CA

#19 Jul 20, 2010
Abigail Wasp wrote:
<quoted text>
Fortunately we have progression since Fred & Barney in the stone age!
Did I buy the land right up to the curb or did I buy the land up to where the sidewalk begins?
From where I sit I'm not to sure about the progression! I don't think your lot line doesn't matters because if it did they couldn't sic the weed commissioner on you if you didn't mow your grass.
just do it already

Des Moines, IA

#20 Jul 20, 2010
Take some pride in your yard for petes sake... wth is so wrong with making a little repair. Also, if someone were to trip and break their neck because your sidewalk was a disaster I think they'd probably have grounds to sue you which in the long run will probably cost more than fixing the sidewalk. Just another thought. Carry on with your whining now.

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