Residents in Grove City want to know what is up with all the white dots.
Andrew Furr, a resident of the Sherry Lynn subdivision, attended the Aug. 18 Grove City Council meeting to ask why workers were spray painting white dots on area sidewalks. He said they began marking sidewalks about a week and a half ago.
"I’m assuming this is some sort of sidewalk replacement program, but the city should have held a public meeting before this was done," Furr commented.
Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said the order to inspect the sidewalks came directly from his office.
"We have a sidewalk problem," said Stage. "We need to find out just how bad the sidewalks are."
Council President Ted Berry explained that the city wants to "invest in older parts of the community." Hence the reason for potential sidewalk repairs.
Grove City Service Director Darryl Hughes said the city sent crews out to look for the "worse case scenarios." They are evaluating sidewalks from Hoover Road, west to Broadway and Columbus Street, south to Ventura Boulevard.
Hughes explained that workers are simply evaluating the sidewalks and marking problem areas with white dots.
Furr believes the residents in the marked areas should have been notified. He said the people in his neighborhood were thinking road crews were going to start tearing up the sidewalks and then they would get the bill.
"That could really put a damper on people trying to buy or sell property," Furr said.
Hughes explained that sidewalk programs are governed by the Ohio Revised Code. The sidewalk evaluation should be complete within the next few weeks. Hughes said at that time, he would approach council about the areas most in need of repairs. Council would have to agree before any action is taken.
Typically, if a sidewalk were repaired, the city would assess the homeowner and add the fee to the property tax. Hughes said the city is looking into several options.
"This does not necessarily mean there will be an assessment," Hughes noted.
He said city staff is looking into a grant program that would offset the cost to the property owner, if the city proceeds with repairs.
"This is a long process if council decides to move ahead," said Hughes.
Should council approve the sidewalk evaluation, letters would be sent to affected property owners by the end of September. Hughes said there will be no new sidewalks this year.