City of Berkley Resumes City-Wide Sidewalk Program
Media Contact: Torri Mathes, Community Engagement Officer; firstname.lastname@example.org; 248-658-3333
Berkley, MI - Aug 12, 2020 - Berkley City Council approved the relaunch of the Sidewalk Replacement Program at the council meeting on Monday, August 10. This project was initially put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the decision to move forward with the project came after City staff and Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. (HRC), the City’s engineering consultant, were able to secure a bid package from Luigi Ferdinandi & Son Cement Co., Inc. that was notably under the projected scope.
The City is looking to pilot a new approach to the sidewalk program with a five-year cycle rather than carrying out replacements every 15 years as it had done in the past. The goal of the new timeline would be to ensure sidewalks no longer reach a point where they are unsafe to use.
Given the cost-savings to the residents, City Council approved the proposed bid package. With this, homeowners will be paying approximately $300 - $400 per 5’X5’ sidewalk slab. According to HRC’s research, a homeowner who contracts with a private contractor to repair their sidewalk should expect to pay up to 2 times more than the cost of the City’s contractor making the repairs.
Furthermore, City administration has delayed the cost fulfillment to residents by having it rolled onto the Summer 2021 tax bill as a special assessment and it will be broken into two installments, giving property owners two years to pay it off. There will be no added fee or interest added to the sidewalk amount at that time. For those with additional financial hardship, the City of Berkley has established a hardship review procedure allowing residents to pay the installments with a nominal interest charge in the third year. The terms and details of those installment payments will be determined at a later date and approved by City Council.
The cost of the program is designed to be self-sustaining in which all of the sidewalk assessments that are collected will go right back into the program.
“Our goal is to remain a walkable City and the new approach to our sidewalk program allows residents a two-fold benefit,” City Manager Matt Baumgarten stated. “By taking advantage of the City’s program, it lowers the overall cost of replacing a sidewalk and it provides the homeowner several months to pay that lowered cost.”
City-wide Sidewalk Replacement Project Scope
Sidewalk inspections have been conducted and will begin within the southwest section of the City. The initial project scope will include the replacement of concrete slabs determined to be an immediate priority based on its vertical displacement (faulting). Residents can view the City’s Sidewalk Replacement 5-Year Cycle Map below on when to expect sidewalk replacements in their area.
Letters to residents living within the southwest section of the City will be mailed out this week. The project is slated to begin in mid-October 2020.
To learn more about the Sidewalk Program and frequently asked questions, visit www.berkleymich.org/citysidewalks.