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City might review curb and sidewalk replacement policy

June 08, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council will spend a portion of its work session Tuesday discussing whether to create a task force that would review the city's curb and sidewalk replacement policy.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said the existing policy requires residents to pay to replace their broken curbs and sidewalks within 12 to 15 months after the city makes the initial notification.

Each repair typically costs $2,000 to $3,000, according to city documents.

Tissue said the task force would explore other options, such as charging taxpayers a marginal quarterly fee that would be placed in a pool and then used to pay for the repairs.

He said that although the fee would increase the amount of money residents pay to the city, it wouldn't be as bad as having to pay up to $3,000 at one time.

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The task force would include one member of the council, city staff and residents, Tissue said. If everything goes as planned, the task force would be in place by the end of this month.

"We want to get rolling," Tissue said. "It's good to get the community involved ... so we can make the best decision. That's why we're doing this."

Tissue said the task force -- if the council chooses to establish one -- could decide it would be best for the city to take over the responsibility of replacing curbs and sidewalks. In that case, the city would hire contractors to do the work, he said.

The task force also would take into account whether any additional fees for curb and sidewalk replacements might have an adverse effect on residents who live on fixed incomes, Tissue said.

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