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Croton's Discount Sidewalk Improvement Program Ending Soon

May 4, 2007

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Residents or any village property owner with existing sidewalks in poor condition may apply to have 40% of the sidewalk replacement cost paid by the Village. All aspects of the work are handled by the village. All applications (download sidewalk improvement form) MUST be received on or before May 31, 2007.

Right from the start in 2002, the village’s sidewalk program was a big hit with property owners. The village would install sidewalks and driveway aprons while sharing the cost of the improvement with the property owner.

From the onset, village staff wisely shepherded negotiations with several commercial property owners to add new walkways where none existed. As a result, we now do have long stretches of new sidewalk where none previously existed, e.g. on South Riverside by the Croton Auto Park.

Under this cost-sharing program, the village attracted a larger than expected number of applications for both renovating older sidewalks or installing sidewalks where none apparently existed. We have thousands of linear feet of new stroller-friendly sidewalk on residential streets where the owner and village shared the replacement costs.

In its third year alone, 2005, the program installed over a mile of sidewalk and driveway apron in front of 57 properties. In 2006, sidewalk work was postponed as the Harmon area water main project installed new drains and curbs.

In 2007, the backlog of sidewalk applications in the Benedict Boulevard area will get first priority, as the village resurfaces those streets in the aftermath of the Harmon water main replacement project.

The popularity of the program spurred the village to extend by one year the application period to May 31, 2007, while lowering the village’s share from 50% to 40% and increasing the property owner’s share from 50% to 60%. No more new applications will be accepted after May 31, 2007, at which time the program’s participant pool will be capped.

Croton residents have just 4 weeks left to reserve a place in the sidewalk program. Applicants only needs to supply their name, address, phone number and date the form—and get it back the village Engineering Office prior to May 31st!

The village’s building inspector, Joe Sperber, coordinates the successful program. Mr. Sperber says, “The current price for sidewalk replacement in $27 per linear foot. Replacement work for the driveway apron and that portion of the sidewalk which traverses the driveway is $7.50 per square foot. These prices will change when we next go out to bid for the 2008 season.”

Many smaller village mid-block lots are 50 feet wide, including a driveway apron of 10 feet long by 6 feet deep and sidewalk of 40 feet in length. At the above rates, the total cost for this concrete sidewalk and driveway apron would be $1,530. The resident’s share would be $918 at 60%.

Payment is not due until the job is complete, which may be next year or later. Regardless of when the work is completed, a property owner locks in the cost savings, currently 40% below full cost. Another benefit for the resident who participates is that the village’s Mr. Sperber will supervise the contractor, alleviating the homeowner from that responsibility.

Mr. Sperber adds, “We will be concentrating our efforts this year on completing the Benedict Boulevard corridor. The work will include granite curbing around the islands, new concrete curbing on either side of the street, road resurfacing, and sidewalk replacement.”

Asked about whether property owners with no sidewalks could apply, Mr. Sperber replied, “If a property owner desires a sidewalk where one currently does not exist, they also should submit an application, although that would not guarantee that one would be installed. It would depend where the property is located in relation to other established pedestrian routes.”

No matter where in Croton you live Croton’s sidewalk cost sharing program is a real deal that is also a good deal. It is a concrete way to bolster home values, and of course, improve pedestrian safety. Hurry up!

Leo Wiegman

Editor’s Note: The author is a former Village of Croton-on-Hudson Trustee who served three terms from 2001 to 2007.



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