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Hagerstown to discuss Sidewalk Maintenance Program

Amendment's aim to lower cost of repairs

Amendment's aim to lower cost of repairs

February 19, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

The Hagerstown City Council is to discuss today amending the city's Sidewalk Maintenance Program in an effort to reduce the cost that homeowners incur to fix their curbs and sidewalks.

As it stands, residents are required to find a contractor to fix a broken sidewalk after the city issues a notice, said Jim Bender, the city's assistant engineer. Each repair is estimated to cost $1,500 to $2,000, he said.

The proposed amendment would allow the city to hire a contractor to perform the repairs, Bender said. In doing so, the city would hope to get a discounted price by awarding the contractor several projects.

Bender said residents would have the option of using the city's contractor or one of their own choosing.

In addition to reducing the cost to repair sidewalks, the proposed amendment would ensure the repairs are more uniform, Bender said.

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Raising enough seed money to hire a contractor is one of the city's major concerns with the amendment, he said. In 2007, for example, the city sent out about 200 notices that told residents to fix their sidewalks. The cost of the repairs was estimated at $400,000, he said.

If the amendment is adopted and proves to be successful, the city could consider expanding it to cover repairs associated with the Property Maintenance Code, Bender said.

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