Who Should Pay For L.I. Sidewalk Repairs?

SMITHTOWN, NY (AP / WCBS 880) – Officials at one Long Island town are considering making property owners responsible for sidewalk repairs.

LISTEN: WCBS 880 L.I. Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reports

Smithtown officials want to change the code to relieve the town of the repairs that cost taxpayers an average of $1. 8 million a year.

Smithtown resident Tom Stark doesn’t like the idea.

“I mean, the taxes that we pay in Smithtown, I mean, we shouldn’t have to pay for our sidewalks. I mean, what’s next? Snow removal? I mean, come on! Enough is enough,” Stark told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

About 40 percent of residential homes in Smithtown have sidewalks. The town board questions whether it is fair for the rest of the homeowners to pay taxes for repairs that don’t benefit them.

The town has budgeted $2 million for sidewalks in next year’s budget.

A public hearing would have to be held before the code could be changed.

Of the 13 towns on Long Island, five make sidewalk repairs the responsibility of property owners.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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Comments

One Comment

  1. tea says:

    LOL if that is the case, can i put a “no tresspassing” sign up on the sidewalk? i mean, we did pay to fix the sidewalk out of our own pockets, so that should be a part of the property (house).

  2. Barbara Ross says:

    If a homeowner is required to do this, then THE SIDEWALK AND THE LAND IT IS ON SHOULD BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE HOMEOWNER AND NOT THE TOWN. In general, the town owns a small portion of the land abutting the street, the land that contains the sidewalk and curb.

    1. Todd M. says:

      If you do that….then they will want to charge people additional taxes on that newly “acquired” land. Now does this also mean that people can sue homeowners if they slip and fall on that sidewalk too. This is crazy.

      1. tea says:

        Todd – its been done already. my neighbor had that happen to him where someone tripped and fell on the sidewalk in front of his house. the people sued him. he had to pay out of his pocket to fix the side walk that i guess is “owned by the city” and pay up for the injured.

      2. Barbara Ross says:

        Ah….good point….that never occurred to me. I guess townspeople need to organize and fight this proposal all the way. Whether they will win, I don’t know. It is very unfair.

  3. DanTe says:

    We the home owners gets to shoot the cars that roll on the curbs causing the damage? It’s only fair.

  4. david says:

    if i had one in front of my house and had to repair it i would just rip it out

  5. Ladyhawk says:

    repairing your sidewalk is one thing, but the picture shows the curb portion. I feel the town should repair it not the homeowner.

  6. sinbad says:

    then maybe setup toll plaza on the side walks too..right NY.. http://www.kriegsview.com check it out for interesting facts

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