Janesville details sidewalk plan
ON THE AGENDA
The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.
Council members will be available at 7 p.m. to meet informally with residents.
Items on the agenda include action to buy five tax-foreclosed properties.
JANESVILLE Janesville city staff propose the city build 5.1 miles of sidewalk in 2012 with the abutting property owners paying the cost.
The proposed 2012 sidewalk program would affect about 200 property owners on the city’s east side.
This is the second year of a seven-year plan to close sidewalk gaps in the city.
A public hearing on the plan is scheduled Monday before the city council. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
This year, 4.7 miles of new sidewalk is being built in the north and northeastern sections of the city, affecting about 120 property owners, most of them in commercial areas.
About 70 percent of next year’s program would be residential.
Staff prioritizes sidewalks to be built based on factors such as traffic and proximity to schools.
The council in 2008 approved the seven-year sidewalk plan because members believed gaps in the city’s sidewalk network are a safety issue. Implementation of the plan was delayed until 2011 because of the poor economy.
Some of the sidewalks targeted in the plan have been on the city sidewalk plan for years.
Sidewalks became increasingly controversial over the last 50 years because some property owners are required to have sidewalks and maintain them and others aren’t.
Staff every year have recommended that some sidewalks be built, but council chambers filled with residents protesting sidewalks being ordered along their properties. Council members often backed down.
The city council in 2008 decided that safety demanded some sidewalks, and they voted to begin filling the gaps over seven years.
The sidewalk plan schedules work through 2017, and the goal is to give residents time to save money to pay for their sidewalks.
After council action Monday night, residents whose sidewalks remain on the 2012 program will receive letters listing the proposed city rate to build sidewalks. The rate uses the base of last year’s $27.70 per foot and adds 3 percent for inflation.
About 45 percent of residents hired private contractors in 2011.
The council several years ago approved a policy levying a $75 fee on residents who choose to build their sidewalks privately. The council later backed off on that policy, and the city has never charged the fee, Mike Payne, engineering manager, said.
Payne said council members changed their minds about the fee after they received feedback from residents with concerns about fairness. He expects the fee to be officially rescinded by the council in the near future.
Residents said it wasn’t fair that one resident would be charged the $75 fee for one square of sidewalk when another resident would be charged the same $75 fee for 100 feet of sidewalk. Residents also asked why the owners of adjoining lots should be charged the $75 fee for each lot. The policy requires a fee per lot.
Residents who elect to have the city, rather than private contractors, install sidewalk can:
-- Pay in cash when the work is done.
-- Attach the cost to their property tax bill the first year after the work is done.
-- Make payments over five years and pay 6 percent interest.
The Janesville City Council on Monday will consider building sidewalks in 2012 on the following streets:
-- The west side of Midland Road from Racine Street to Palmer Drive.
-- The south side of Ruger Avenue from the Interstate 90/39 overpass to South Wright Road.
-- Both sides of South Wright Road from Racine Street to Ruger Avenue.
-- The west side of South Wuthering Hills Drive from Racine Street to Enterprise Drive.
-- The west side of Chelsea Place from Woodhall Drive to Parkview Drive.
-- The west side of Greendale Drive from Greendale Court to Woodhall Drive.
-- The west side of Margate Drive from Skyview Drive to Wilshire Lane.
-- The west side of Princeton Road from Parkview Drive to Stuart Street.
-- The north side of Skyview Drive from North Wright Road to Tudor Drive.
-- The south side of Stuart Street from Suffolk Drive to North Wright Road.
-- The west side of Suffolk Drive from 2,205 feet south of East Milwaukee Street to East Milwaukee Street.
-- The north side of Wilshire Lane from Margate Drive to Wuthering Hills Drive.
-- The north side of Woodhall Drive from Chelsea Place to North Wright Road.
-- The east side of North Wright Road from Ruger Avenue to Brunswick Lane.
-- The west side of North Wuthering Hills Drive from Skyview Drive to Bristol Drive.