The Hiawatha City Council took action on Nov. 6 to approve a sidewalk maintenance program for the City of Hiawatha.
The program includes:
1. A survey process which includes an assessment of all of the public sidewalks in Hiawatha over a ten-year period.
2. A description of a defective sidewalk and the standards used for making repairs and corrections to non-complying sidewalks.
3. A notification process that meets the nuisance abatement requirements in State Statute including appeals, invoices for work and assessment options for collections.
4. A documentation process through our permit software which tracks each address from notification to completion to assessment if necessary. The implementation of the “Sidewalk Maintenance Program” will begin in 2020. (Click here)
The program details include:
A. The reduction in the permit fee for sidewalk repairs: The fee for residential sidewalk repairs has been reduced from $60 to $0 to facilitate the program and reduce the cost to the home owner. This fee is available only for lots used for one and two-family dwellings. All other properties will require a commercial sidewalk repair permit which specifies a fee of $100. The fee for the installation of new sidewalks remains at $60 for residential and $100 for commercial sidewalks.
B. A specification to allow existing 4-foot sidewalks to remain 4’ in the repair process. The new standard for new sidewalks in Hiawatha requires all sidewalks to meet the ADA standard of a minimum 5’ width. However, Council is allowing 4’ wide sidewalks in existing areas where the present sidewalk is 4’ wide.
C. Recognition of the new SUDAS standards as adopted by Hiawatha which contain the updated specifications and accessibility tolerances. While the tolerances are in reference to the construction and repair, they do not amend the defective sidewalk definition. Community Development consulted with the Engineering Department and neighboring jurisdictions on the matter of defining a defective sidewalk. The Hiawatha Engineering Department agrees the new goal for incorporating ADA as part of the program standards will be the best evidence Hiawatha is moving forward with compliance mandated by ADA; however, using ADA tolerances for inspecting existing sidewalks is impractical. Further, the City Attorney has rendered and opinion this is in compliance with ADA requirements for the City⁵.
The implementation for this program will include a public open house and mailings to all properties affected by inspections scheduled in 2020. The public open house will be held Jan. 22, 2020 from 5:30 to 7 PM in the City of Hiawatha multi-purpose room in the lower level of City Hall.