OAKLEY -- In an attempt to help residents maintain the sidewalk in front of their homes, the city will share the cost with property owners for fixing problem spots.

The City Council on Tuesday approved what amounts to a compromise: Although state law holds homeowners responsible for keeping up the sidewalk, curb and gutter along the front of their property, the city now will repair or replace damaged concrete and absorb half the cost.

Currently, Oakley is having a tough time getting compliance, said City Engineer Kevin Rohani. The hope is that this new tactic will elicit a response from residents who are too busy or lack the money to hire a contractor themselves.

Paying 50 percent of construction costs that reflect the economies of scale the city is able to achieve is considerably less than what they would have to fork out if residents did the job themselves, he said.

In his staff report, Rohani also noted that property owners are not off the hook even if the frontage section of sidewalk has been damaged by trees in the public right of way. What's more, they're exposing themselves to a lawsuit if someone trips on that pavement and injures him or herself, he wrote.

The city plans to earmark $35,000 to $50,000 for repairs this fiscal year.



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