Frustrated neighborhood raises concerns over sidewalk repair costs

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Closed businesses and lost work hours have caused many people to tighten their budgets. So several homeowners in an Omaha neighborhood are asking tonight why the city is demanding they spend more money.

For 21 homeowners on a two-block stretch of south 93rd, city notices to replace sidewalks mean an unexpected trip to the bank.

“Mine is $1,147 mine in $1,090,” said two homeowners.

The city notice gives homeowners twenty days to replace sidewalk panels or a city contractor will and bill them.

Roberta Lamb, the homeowner said, “People need to eat they don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a sidewalk, they need to have food on their table.”

Dry-waller Larry Berray says coronavirus concerns have cut into his work hours.

Berray said, “Timing is not a great time for it there are other things important now than this concrete or the sidewalk being fixed.”

But the mayor’s office says the city will continue to respond to citizen complaints about potential safety hazards and follow existing policies for repairs.

Liz Kumru, the homeowner said, “They should wait until this is over and then let us have some time to fix it.”

An inspection determined a tripping hazard that needs to be repaired.

Judging by the inspector's green paint that also includes a couple of fairly new handicap accessible metal plates that popped up on the entrance drive to a Ralston school.

Some drive approaches are also marked and homeowners wonder if cracking and sinking go deeper than sidewalks.

Paul Crocker homeowner said, “They need to address the drainage the water that’s coming up. They need to send out an engineer to figure out what’s going on what’s the issue causing this?”

The homeowners realize the liability of a hazardous walk but before asking them to pay some say the city should set an example just down the street.

The mayor’s spokesperson says the property owner always has the option to appeal an assessment. As for the suggestion, a drainage problem is to blame for the sinking sidewalks- public works will investigate along with the overall condition of 93rd street.