Around Town | May 28, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 28, 2010

Around Town

SIDEWALK BLUES ... Palo Alto homeowners will almost certainly be asked to shoulder some, if not all, of the costs to replace crumbling sidewalks in front of their properties. The biggest unresolved question now is whether the city will completely eliminate its sidewalk-replacement program, as staff has recommended, or split the costs with residents 50-50. The City Council's Finance Committee deadlocked Tuesday on which unpopular option to adopt. Councilman Greg Scharff proposed shifting 100 percent of the cost of sidewalk repairs to residents, an idea also supported by Vice Mayor Sid Espinosa. Scharff called the cost of sidewalk repairs a "modest burden" for homeowners and noted that many cities already use this model. The shift would save Palo Alto about $500,000 in the 2011 budget. But Councilman Larry Klein called the proposal a "bridge too far" and argued the city should share the costs. Neither Klein nor Scharff could muster the support of the rest of the committee. The full council will finalize and adopt the 2011 budget in late June.

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