Powell to start collecting for sidewalk improvements


With the City of Powell’s annual Sidewalk Maintenance and Replacement Program all but complete for 2017, City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward collecting payment for the work that’s been done.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance imposing assessments on properties for sidewalk repair and replacement, and certifying the assessments to the Delaware County auditor for collection.

“This is the last step in our annual sidewalk repair program where we inspect sidewalks each year,” said City Manager Steve Lutz. “We have certain standards where if a sidewalk does not meet that standard, we notify the property owner. They can either repair it themselves or have the city make the repairs.”

According to city records, 60 property owners elected to have the city complete all necessary repairs/replacements, which ranged in size from 18.5 square feet to 196.5 square feet. At a cost of $14 per square foot, the city completed 3,138.9 square feet of sidewalk work at a total cost of $43,944.46, all of which will be paid back by the property owners.

“We will be sending out notices where (property owners) can choose to pay off the improvement at one time and make that payment to the city, or they can choose to have an assessment placed on the property where the county actually does this,” Lutz said. “It spreads the cost over five years, and the county does place a 5 percent interest rate on that assessment.”

City fees addressed

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing an amendment to the city’s 2018 fee schedule.

The amendment seeks to change fees in the following areas: engineering inspection, engineering plan review, public safety, and miscellaneous.

Lutz said each year department heads review the fee schedule and changes are made when needed.

“Often times we want fees to reflect the actual cost of service,” he said.

Director of Finance Debra Miller highlighted several of the proposed changes, including a $150 deposit for all traffic control devices, like the traffic cones used for special events/parades.

“We will return (the deposit) once our equipment is returned back to us,” she said.

Miller said the ordinance would increase the rate for a special duty officer from $40 to $43 per hour (three-hour minimum and rate doubles on holidays).

“(The hourly rate) is not only based on what our officers make, but it also looks at what other officers are making on special duty in the county so that we are pretty comparable on that rate,” she said.

The proposed changes also seek to increase engineering inspection fees and plan review fees for various items.

Other business

The city’s annual Candy By the Carload event, which was held on a Sunday this year instead of on a Saturday as it had been in the past, was deemed a success, Lutz said.

“It was a record-breaking attendance,” he said. “It was cold, but it was dry.”

The city’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. today in the municipal building, 47 Hall St.

Lutz said the city is “blessed” to have Craig Carmichael, a 94-year-old World War II veteran, as the scheduled keynote speaker. Due to Carmichael’s age and the expected cold weather, Lutz said, the decision was made to move the ceremony from the Village Green Park to the municipal building.

Council recognized resident Jill King for donating $16,600 to the city for the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

“We are honored and delighted (she was) able to do that to help us out,” Mayor Brian Lorenz said.

Miller said the city’s current AEDs are not compatible with the fire department’s AEDs, and many are past their expiration date.

The donation, she added, will be used to purchase 12 new AEDs, three for the municipal building and nine for the city’s police cruisers.

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Contact Joshua Keeran at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @KeeranGazette.

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