The Chadron City Council meets tonight in regular session at 6:00. It’s a light agenda that includes hiring Baker & Associates as Special Engineer for Water and Wastewater Projects and a proclamation for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
The council met in a workshop session last Thursday and came out with a unanimous consensus on setting up a cost-share program with landowners needing to repair sidewalks.
Details haven’t been set, but most of the discussion seemed to favor a 50-50 split to a maximum city contribution of $1,500 with $20-to-30,000 available the first year.
Mayor Mark Werner says the idea is to offer an incentive to voluntarily fix sidewalk problems instead of forcing the city to require them. He credits council member Cheryl Welch for developing the plan based on those of several other cities.
Welch’s concern about sidewalks triggered a minor controversy last month when she filed complaints against 2 homeowners with the city, drawing complaints from council member Keith Crofutt over the appropriateness of her action given her position.
Welch says they put the dispute behind them and worked together on the sidewalk plan to address what she considers a long-simmering problem.
Welch thinks it’s important for the city to work with landowners to improve the condition of many sidewalks and she’s excited with the progress on adopting the plan.
The council consensus last week was to give the plan a one-year trial run, then review the results.
The tentative timetable for the plan is a 30-day application period and 90-days to complete the work and submit receipts for reimbursement. City staff will draw up a matrix to rank applications over the next few months.