Kyle sidewalk maintenance discussions continue

The inability to secure a way to maintain sidewalks in Kyle led city leaders to consider different options.

But with the possibility of having to raise taxes to foot the bill for sidewalk repairs, city leaders are now trying to find the most cost effective way to accomplish that goal.

According a 1964 city ordinance, maintenance and repair of sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.

While homeowners have the responsibility, however, sidewalks are not being maintained.

Officials held concerns the condition of some sidewalks is a public safety issue.

To resolve the issue, officials are considering three options. One option would require homeowners to retain responsibility, while a second option would require the city to assist homeowners in repairing sidewalks. A third option could be the city taking on the full responsibility.

At a meeting in April, council members discussed the city possibly contracting a private concrete company to repair sidewalks at a reduced cost to homeowners.

CL Concrete Construction was one company that submitted a bid to the city.

Under this proposal, homeowners would pay the city to have sidewalk sections added to a repair list. When enough repairs were indentified, the private contractor would repair all the cited sidewalks.

Councilmember David Wilson said he’s concerned that not enough homeowners would be willing to participate, or homeowners would want their sidewalks immediately repaired.

At the June 6 meeting, council members discussed the city perhaps taking on the responsibility.

Wilson, who presented the proposal, said the city could not consider such an option if there wasn’t a cost-effective way for it to repair sidewalks.

Wilson proposed that the city use cost-effective technology and methods to take full responsibility of repairing and maintaining sidewalks.

It would be for cost effective for the city to have the sidewalks repaired than homeowner repairing it on their own, Wilson said. It’s too costly for homeowners and results in varying quality, he said.

Wilson suggested a city sidewalk maintenance budget of $50,000 a year.

Much like street maintenance, sidewalks would have to be repaired at a regular, gradual basis, Wilson said.

Wilson said having the city repair a large volume of sidewalks would drive down costs instead of homeowners hiring independent contractors.

“I just want to do the right thing for the community,” Wilson said.

While homeowners would not directly pay to have their sidewalks repaired, their taxes would contribute to it.

As officials work on the city’s budget, they will continue discussing sidewalk maintenance.

Wilson said homeowners had varying opinions, as do councilmembers.

“We’re still wrestling with the issue,” Wilson said. “We’ve been listening to residents on the subject.”

What options are on the table for sidewalk maintenance in Kyle?

Option 1: Homeowners maintain full responsibility

  • Cost to homeowner: varies, approx. $1,500 for 4’ x 4’
  • Homeowner would hire independent contractor 
  • City’s role limited to policing

Option 2: City assists, homeowner maintains full responsibility

  • Cost to homeowner: $1,000 for first 4’ x ‘4 section, $500 per following section
  • Cost to city: administrative work
  • Homeowner has option to repair sidewalk through city contractor (or through independent contractor, like Option 1)
  • City collects payment from owner, repairs added to list
  • City gathers list of repairs, sends work to concrete contractor once enough identified or enough time has passed

Option 3: City takes full responsibility

  • Cost to homeowner: tax rate (0.25 – 0.50)
  • Cost to city: $56 per section (using PolyLevel method) or $248 (using conventional method), proposed annual $50,000 budget
  • Homeowners responsible for reporting

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