Janesville18.4°

Mistakes made with sidewalk repairs: staff

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
August 26, 2008
— Janesville city staff acknowledged at Monday’s council meeting that some mistakes were made regarding the sidewalk repair program.

President Amy Loasching said people contacted her saying that repairs and the subsequent bills they earlier had agreed to pay suddenly increased.


She said one person told her he had agreed to pay for one segment of sidewalk at a cost of $150 only to be billed for three or four squares months later with no notification in between.


“We definitely have some mistakes out there,” Jack Messer, director of operations, said.


Messer said the city a year ago hired a consultant to perform inspections on a seven-year backlog of sidewalk complaints that involved about 1,300 property owners.


The city sent notices of repairs earlier this spring. But recently staff was sent out to actually mark the repairs.


“There have been some differences,” Messer said. “…That’s an incorrect determination by our folks.


“As we’ve been learning about these, there have been some frank discussions about how we move forward from here.


“If we can’t talk to (a resident) about a change we’ve made, we’re not going to fix that,” Messer said. “We do not intend to … require something more than what was noticed to them.”


Loasching said one man spoke to a city employee as the city employee was marking the sidewalks and was told that he had no recourse. The additional sidewalks were marked and the resident would be billed, the resident was told.


“There is a recourse,” Messer said. “We will rectify the situation.”


Loasching said residents should contact the city if the changes already have been made, but the residents can prove with the original letter that the square feet and cost changed.


TO LEARN MORE

Janesville residents who have questions about or problems with sidewalk repair should call Jack Messer or Mike Payne in the city engineering department at (608) 755-3160.



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