City councillors have resisted a call to get rid of temporary sidewalk patches as quickly as some home owners would like to see it happen.
Council’s executive committee Tuesday decided against speeding up the process that could have seen temporary repairs ripped out in as little as two years instead of what’s done now.
If a sidewalk caves in, step one on the road to recovery is an asphalt patch. Step two is replacement cement, but that could be five years away.
Coun. Michael Walters asked for a report after hearing home owners’ complaints about black asphalt patching up the sidewalks in front of their homes.
“I think it’s partly about safety for people,” Walters said. “It’s partly about people want a beautiful city and you’ve got these big black stretches of asphalt on sidewalks so it’s a small issue in the big scheme of things but a big issue for a lot of folks on their streets.”
Problem is the sidewalk repair budget is $5 million, and speeding up the timeline to two years from five, would add anywhere from $800,000 to $1.1 million to the bottom line.
That proved to be too rich for executive committee’s blood.
“That’s a fairly significant cost I think,” Mayor Don Iveson told reporters. “It’d be certainly nice to do, they’d look better.
“If there’s a public safety issue, either related to ease of clearing snow, or subsidence of a patch that can’t hold up for five years, then I’m all for increasing the service level around safety. If its aesthetics, then I think it’s really got to compete against other priorities for investment,” Iveson added.
Instead the new city council, after the election this fall, will get a report that details where sidewalk patchwork fits in the larger priority list of other work the transportation department does.
The review will be done by city council during budget talks later this year.