Posted: Aug 1, 2012 10:27 PM by Breanna Roy - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 2, 2012 9:05 AM
MISSOULA- Missoula City Council members are looking at two options to divide the responsibility of paying for the city's sidewalks.
"The goal of this is to provide some community-wide funding for infrastructure that benefits the whole community and not to simply put the burden of financing sidewalks on the people who happen to be living next to where they have to go in," Public Works Committee Chair Jason Wiener said.
He and many other councilors believe the city and the homeowner should split the charge. Now, the public works committee has zeroed in on two possible formulas to do that.
In one proposal, dubbed the "City First Model," the city (through a sidewalk assessment) would pay for the first $500 and the property owner pay the rest of the cost, capping at $3,500. The homeowner would also have to pay any amount over $15,000.
The other proposal, the "Insurance Model," calls for the property owner to pay the first $500 of the project and 30% of anything above that. The city pays for 70% of the cost following the first $500.
The council will ultimately have to decide how to deal with people who already paid for their sidewalks under the old system or who are still currently making payments.
City councilors have already determined it will wait to bill all sidewalks built after Jan. 1, 2012, until the new billing system is resolved.
The conversation will continue at a public hearing on August 27.