Council plans sidewalk project
The De Soto City Council reconfirmed last Thursday its commitment to use the city's 2002 Community Development Block Grant to improve city sidewalks.
The grant funds will provide $100,000 for handicapped curb cuts and new and replacement sidewalks in old-town De Soto. City Administrator Gerald Cooper said he needed guidance from the council as he is preparing the application.
City ordinance makes sidewalk replacement and repairs the responsibility of property owners, Cooper said.
"Do you want us to replace sidewalks in front of residences?" he asked. "If you do it for one person, do you do it for everybody?"
The effort is sure to cause controversy, Cooper said. All the old-town's sidewalk needs can't be addressed with $100,000, meaning some bad sidewalks will remain.
Replacing sidewalks to code will require modifications to lawns, which is never popular, Cooper said. Other residents simply don't want the added traffic new sidewalks will bring, he said.
"Some people want them in front of the house because they want their kids playing on them," he said. "Other people don't want them because they don't want neighborhood kids playing on them."
The council instructed Cooper to proceed with the grant application. City staff will develop a standard that will determine what sidewalks are replaced or built by considering traffic and sidewalk conditions, it was decided.