Here’s a tale from a Northender willing–mostly willing that is–to pay his share for sidewalk repairs. He isn’t happy about paying, but he has to consider MOST of us in Boise don’t have sidewalks or city maintained trees between the curb and sidewalk.
BY TIM DUBLIN
“ I’m writing to raise awareness and forewarn other property owners regarding what has turned into a very frustrating experience as I’ve attempted to facilitate an ACHD mandated sidewalk replacement at our North End residence.
For those of you unfamiliar with the process, Section 11 of ACHD ordinance 190 (enacted 5/22/96) mandates that sidewalks which are declared “dangerous or unsafe” must be contracted for repair or replacement by the ADJACENT (key word…these sidewalks are outside of the property line boundary) homeowner. ACHD provides a list of “bonded concrete contractors for hazardous sidewalk repair” from which to choose. Per the ACHD memo sent in conjunction with their Notice to Repair, using a contractor from this list “ensures overall quality and timeliness of work.” As a property owner if you follow the ACHD rules by acting within 30 days to engage an approved contractor who then completes the work, you get the privilege of paying up front for the ENTIRE cost of the project.I live on a corner lot so granted my scenario is a near worse case, but for me that means shelling out $3,300. In turn, 30 days later ACHD will reimburse me for 50% of the cost. Assuming that they have available budget left in their “Sidewalk Repair Reimbursement Fund” which is special fund set aside every year and dispersed on a first come first serve basis.
Well…it all sounds pretty good (not really) on paper but long story short I now find myself 2+ weeks into what should have been a 3 day sidewalk replacement job. The contractor (one I selected from the ACHD list to make sure I received “overall quality and timeliness” on the project) has not shown up for going on 4 days straight now . Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday and our sidewalks and yard are ripped to @#$%& …and to add insult to injury while demolishing part of the old sidewalk the contractor knocked our side yard wood fence apart. Fence was subsequently fixed and contractor apologized.
Remember now – when it’s all said and done (if it’s ever said and done) we’ll get to front the contractor a check for $3,300 of which ACHD (if they haven’t run out of budget by the time this debacle ends) will pay us back half. This is on top of the $3,600 property tax payment we recently made to fund our fair (?) share of County road maintenance services. Hmmm – does any of this smell like double or at least inequitable taxation? At a minimum should perhaps this cost which amounts to a Special Assessment be (like Property Tax) a tax deductible expense? No mention of that in the ACHD guidelines.
Property owners who live in areas containing sidewalks – consider yourself warned and set some budget aside for a rainy day. Your time is coming – it’s tough to find over 20 contiguous feet of sidewalk in the North End that doesn’t need replacing. How the condemnation/selection process works I’ve not a clue….I just know that one day some white paint and arrows marked “ACHD” appeared, followed shortly by a Notice to Repair. Now, much like the sidewalks I’m paying to replace, I’M THE ONE GETTING WALKED ALL OVER!! ”
GUARDIAN thinks Tim should be honored with his initials or even hand prints in his “walk of fame.”
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