Danedri Thompson
During a Nov. 17 meeting, Gardner City Council members condemned the sidewalk between Casey’s General Store and QuikTrip on east Main Street.
The condemnation will require that the owners of the abutting properties fix the sidewalks within 60 days. If the property owners don’t repair the sidewalks, the city could make the repairs and put a tax lien on the properties for the cost of repairs.
Ten residents signed a petition, presented to city council on Nov. 3, that the sidewalk is a liability to residents.
The condemned sidewalk abuts properties owned by Casey’s and an adjacent lot owned by Joy and Jeffrey Jacobs Trust. The owners were not notified by city staff of the possible condemnation.
City code allows the governing body by resolution to order that any sidewalk be repaired or reconstructed. Residents can make the request that sidewalks be repaired by submitting a petition signed by 10 people.
Once the sidewalks are condemned, code requires the city clerk to serve a written notice to property owners. From then, the owners have 60 days to make the repairs.
City attorney Ryan Denk said the 60-day notice is written into state statute. However, prior to the city doing the work itself and billing the landowners, council would have to approve an ordinance first. The statute and city code say the city can levy the property for the repair cost, but that doesn’t mean the council has to do that.
Brian Faust, city public works director, estimated that the sidewalk repairs would cost the landowners between $5,000 and $6,000.
City council members briefly debated the city funding the sidewalk repairs before agreeing to move forward with the condemnation.