City sidewalk program announced

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City residents will have an opportunity to spruce up the walkways in front of their homes, thanks to a program being launched by the city.Mayor Jim Fleck announced the Columbia City Sidewalk Enhancement Partnership Program for 2011.Fleck said the city will partner with residents for a 50/50 match on public sidewalks.“It really, actually works out to be more like 60/40,” Fleck said, adding that the city assumes the cost of eliminating debris, “which is an expense.”Fleck said the program enhances the aesthetics of both the city and the homes, “so it’s a win-win for everybody.”Fleck said private sidewalks, driveway approaches and driveways are 100 percent the property owner’s responsibility. Only tax-assessed property is eligible, according to Fleck who added the entire sidewalk portion from property line to property line will be replaced. The city will not consider portions of sidewalks and a payment schedule may be established with the Clerk Treasurer’s office in City Hall.Fleck said the entire payment must be completed no later than Dec. 1.The deadline for applications to be received for consideration is April 29.Applications are available at the mayor’s office in City Hall during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on the city’s website, at can also be ordered by calling the mayor’s office at 248-5111 for anyone who can’t get to the office during regular hours or those without internet access.“The program’s been in effect for quite a few years that’s allowed property owners who have the responsibility to maintain the sidewalk and to do it at a reasonable expense,” Fleck said.