Iowa City leaders say sidewalk system is effective, residents disagree
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -
A recent review of Iowa City's longtime sidewalk inspections prove them to be effective, according to Iowa City leaders.
The system requires property owners to cover the costs of repairs in front of their homes
However, some homeowners say faulty sidewalks shouldn't be their responsibility.
Iowa City resident Susan Ray says she's received one of the city's notices about sidewalk repairs in the past, and has no problem with the system.
"We received a notice from the city that it needed to be fixed and we called and had a company come out and fix it," said Susan.
However, Jacob Hodges says some things are out of the homeowners control, like tree roots causing the sidewalks to buckle or crack, so paying is not fair.
"As far as clearing the snow, I think that's the homeowners responsibility, but if there's something wrong with the sidewalk I don't think that's the homeowners job," said Hodges. "I think the city should take care of that."
Rick Fosse, Iowa City Public Works director, says the goal is to simply provide a safe and walkable environment.
He says a reduction in claims shows the city's plan works well.
From 1990-1999 the city paid $173,590 in trip and fall claims, from 2000-2009 it dropped to $8,630, and since 2010 the city hasn't paid a dime in claims.
Fosse says in December a council member suggested that the city cover the cost of the sidewalk repairs, but due to limited funds the council didn't agree.