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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