137 Cheektowaga properties need to repair their sidewalks

A town sidewalk.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – The Cheektowaga Town Board is sending notice to property owners to repair or replace their damaged sidewalks.

Supervising Code Enforcement Officer Rick Coburn sent the Town Board a list of 137 property owners who need to repair or replace their sidewalks before August 8, 2017.

The properties were listed because either the homeowner themselves called the town to complain about a tree in the right-of-way lifting the sidewalk in front of their house or another resident complained about the sidewalk.

The burden to repair the sidewalk falls on the property owner, but because town trees were contributing to the problem, the town’s capital projects committee determined that the town should help address the hazards and at the same time help the homeowners by sharing in the cost of the sidewalks.

“Instead of using that funding by replacing sidewalks on a whole street when they really didn’t need to be replaced, let use the money for remediation in areas that really could be a hazard to pedestrians,” said Supervisor Diane Benczkowski.

“They can replace it themselves or they have our contractor do it and we share in the cost. They pay 60% and we pay 40%.” 

Benczkowski said the letter sent to homeowners about the issue may have been confusing, so her office in recent days took steps to clearly the matter on the town’s Facebook Page.  After discussing the matter with Benczkowski, Cheektowaga Chronicle too admits that our original report based off of the town’s resolution may have been confusing.

While the Town cannot aid with the full cost of the replacement Benczkowski says the Town of Cheektowaga is the only town in the area that pays any portion towards sidewalk replacement in an attempt to take some of the burden off of the residents.

The town will be remediating the tree in the process by removing the roots under the sidewalk to help alleviate any future hazards or damage done.

A previous version of this article said Superintendent of Highways Mark Wegner sent the Town Board a list of property owners.  His name was attached to the original resolution, but was amended during a Town Board work session to reflect the correct person who compiled the list, Supervising Code Enforcement Officer Rick Coburn.