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Advocate Lake Highlands (October 2009) : Page 21

grab-bag LauNCH A GuIdE THROuGH THE MAzE Of CITY-RElATEd quESTIONS ? My SIdEWAlk isn’t fit for walking. How can I get it REpAIREd? Here’s the most important thing to remember when you want to repair a sidewalk: The City of dallas will help you fix it, but it will not foot the entire bill. (unless you live in a low-income area or the city is repairing the utilities beneath your sidewalk or curb.) But knowing that, if you still want your sidewalk to be walkable, here’s how it works: 1. The city gives residents two options: the fast-fix program and the cost-shareprogram. 2. The fast-fix program, as the title suggests, gets the job done more quickly. Citizens pay $4.60 per square foot of sidewalk, plus additional charges for any curb repairs and grass replacements. City staff and contractors will inspect the sidewalk and provide cost estimates, and repairs must be made within two months of the request to protect the price. The payment is made to contractors, who work through dallas Water and utilities, and work should be completed within two weeks of payment. 3. In the cost-share program, citizens pay for half the costs — $2.80 per square foot of sidewalk — and the city pays for the other half. The cost- Got a maze you can’t find your way throuGh? ? share program usually involves an entire street, block or neighborhood and typically takes one or two years. The city determines an area that needs sidewalk repairs, sends out letters to residents living in that area to find out if they want to go ahead with repairs; if so, residents have 30 days to pay their half of the cost. After the letters have been sent and money collected, it takes eight to 12 months to get a contract set up. 4. Even though the city mostly relies on residents to take the initiative in sidewalk repairs, residents can still be cited by the city and possibly fined for having damaged sidewalks, because of the risk of someone becominghurtandboththecityandhomeowner facingacivilsuit. 5. for information about either program, contact James dowdy with the city’s public works and transportation department at 214.948.4287. Email howitworks@advocatemag.comwith your question. advocatemag.com/lake-highlands OctOber 2009 21

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