Proposed Sidewalk Maintenance Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions & Answers The ordinance and assistance program are only

being presented to Council for discussion and possible adoption, not certain to be adopted. There have been two previous public work sessions on this topic where Council has discussed and deliberated whether or not this is something the City wants to change policy on. The introduction of an ordinance is meant to bring additional public discussion, specifically with more clarity on what the policy shift would look like from a municipal code perspective. Council will discuss the implications of the policy Tuesday night and choose whether or not to move forward. 1) How much does the city calculate it would save? The City currently estimates about $1 million in needed sidewalk repairs city-wide, much of which was inherited by the County. Since incorporation, the City has completed about $1 million in total sidewalk repairs (about $400k of that came in one year when the economy was hot). This is not being presented as an attempt by the City to “save” money or sidestep responsibility. Sidewalk repair needs are not a static problem. Every year the City adds to the repair needs list as many new locations as are financially able to be repaired. Therefore the City is unlikely ever to be able to repair all sidewalks and eliminate the list. This is instead a 3-pronged issue: 1. Safety for pedestrians. We have been involved in litigation more than a couple of times for trip and fall. This helps to repair all sidewalks in a timely manner, reducing chances for trip and fall. 2. Community image. Busted sidewalks do not send the message of a clean, well-kept community. 3. Leveraging our limited resources. The City has always conducted annual sidewalk repair projects, which we intend to continue. However, as previously stated, we will never be ahead of the problem. By requiring property owners to be responsible for repairs in front of their properties, the City’s expenditures can go further towards eliminating poorly maintained sidewalks citywide. 2) How many repairs does the City typically do currently? Since cityhood we have repaired 254 locations, representing more than 27,000 square feet of sidewalk and 5,500 feet of curb/gutter at a total cost of just over $1 million. That works out to just about $100k/year and 25 locations per year. However, the current backlog of needed repairs is just over 280 locations and more than $1 million in estimated cost. As previously mentioned, this is not a static problem. We would be unlikely to ever eliminate the list without some shift in strategy.

3) What is the main reason for the repairs we have been doing? (trees? poor quality of contractor work? extreme weathering?) Around 80% of repairs are as a result of tree root damage from trees on private property. This is the primary reason why the state Streets & Highway Code references sidewalk repair as property owner responsibility (the public has no say in where a property owner plants a tree that ends up damaging public assets). The remaining fifth vary from factors such as subterranean settling (poor quality contractor work – from decades ago), cracking/breaking that has grown over time, heavy equipment, or other unknown causes. 4) What is the cut-off point for assistance to "low income"? As currently proposed, we used 80% of area median income as the cutoff point. So for example, a household of 4 would be at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) if they made $57,900 or below. At that level they would be eligible for a subsidy of 25% of costs. At 50% of AMI they would be eligible for 50% subsidy. At 30% AMI they would be eligible for 100% of the cost subsidized by the City. The intent of the assistance program is to ensure that folks facing financial duress, or on fixed incomes, are not placed in a financially difficult situation. 5) Is that a firm cut-off point? That is a part of the Council discussion to be had on Sept. 3. 6) Is there a middle area where city pays 80% if income is between X and Y, but 60% if income is between Y and Z, and 40% between A and B dollars? Yes. See response to #4 above. Again, this item is only proposed at this point in time. If the Ordinance does not move forward, then the subsidy program is a moot point. 7) Who decides when repairs are needed? The Superintendent of Streets, which is the Public Works Director, or his designee, which is City public works staff. There is also a cutoff point on the low end. We figured it will cost the City around $300 to even process applications (staff time, permits, inspections, etc.). Therefore, we will not be requesting that property owners make any repairs that are less than this threshold. The City will just make those repairs. A quick example of what falls below the threshold is a “lifted sidewalk,” that has lifted less than an inch. A lift occurs when something below the surface of the concrete, typically a tree root, lifts a segment of the sidewalk up without breaking or damaging the sidewalk section. This creates a serious trip hazard to pedestrians. If the lift is minor, under an inch, a cost effective response is to “grind” the pavement section with a machine that smooths out the lift, thereby removing the trip hazard. This is typically done for a couple hundred dollars under a City

contract for road maintenance and is the type of short-term repair we would not ask property owners to pay for. 8) Is there an appeal process? Yes, a process which is spelled out in the Ordinance based on state law. 9) Is there a tight or loose window when repairs have to be finished before? (30 days?, 60 days?, 90 days, 120 days?) 90 days (common practice in most jurisdictions) and requires that repairs be initiated within 90 days – that generally means pull the permit or initiate the City to make repairs on owners behalf (they later pay City for repairs). 10) Is there a top end limit on what a resident would be expected to pay? Depends on extent of needed repairs. A ballpark estimate would be that the average repair need is going to be in the $1,000-1,500 range, but is wholly dependent upon extent of needed repairs. The previously stated estimates put the cost currently around $100k/year @ 25 locations per year, which works out to around $4k/repair. This is a skewed number as the City made some major sidewalk repairs in the early years of incorporation with very large sidewalk projects that residents would not experience. 11) Cost per job? The City would look to pre-qualify a small number of contractors in order to procure competitive pricing for residents who choose to use pre-qualified contractors. 12) Property owners responsible per the life of their owning that property? (i.e. If they have to do a repair in 2014 would they have to do it again in 2019 if something else happens?, etc.) In short, yes. However, the likelihood of an additional failure is minimal if the first repair if done properly (e.g. if tree root caused, tree root barrier installed to prevent future damage by tree root). 13) Is someone on a busy street with more traffic/wear and tear with a long section of sidewalk going to be cut slack over a guy with just 10 yards on a back street? The intent of the ordinance as currently written is to treat everybody equally. The needed repairs of public sidewalk are the property owner’s responsibility, regardless of property shape or location. That said, it is generally rare for even 10 yards (30 feet) of sidewalk needing complete removal and replacement. Typically it is one or two sections of sidewalk that need repair, which is only about 8-16 feet. 14) If the resident has to pay, do they get to pick which bid to go with?

Yes. They can select their own contractor or have the City conduct repairs for them utilizing a pre-qualified contractor. Either way, our intent is to make the process as simple as possible for the property owner. It is also important to be expressly clear that not all residents are responsible, only property owners. There are lots of duplex properties and rental single family homes in the City. The residents of these properties would not be responsible under the ordinance, if adopted. Rather, the owners of those income properties would be. 15) Are older neighborhoods such as Lincoln Village or White Rock going to be held to the same high standards as newer neighborhoods such as Capitol Village and Stone Creek? Yes, in that the language in the ordinance is intended to ensure that sidewalks are maintained in a way that does not endanger the public or interfere with public convenience. 16) Will the City be proactive in seeking out needed sidewalk repairs like the City of Sacramento does? No. The City has no intention of proactively, or in the case of Sacramento aggressively, seeking out sidewalks in need of repair. We are only discussing the change in sidewalk maintenance policy as a possible way to equitably improve the quality of life for all residents on the same reactive basis as we have been practicing since incorporation.