By Amanda Amsel
In an effort to improve the community, the Prairie Township trustees unanimously approved moving forward with the township’s annual sidewalk program.
“This will be our 13th or 14th year we have had this successful program,” said Tracy Hatmaker, administrator for the Prairie Township. “We will once again be setting $50,000 aside to repair sidewalks in the township.”
Township residents who would like their sidewalks repaired can borrow money from the township. Officials say the borrowed money does not have to be paid back for 10 years and is interest free.
Assessed on their property taxes, borrows would see a slight increase in their quarterly taxes if they participate.
According to officials, the township will bid out the repair work with all participating homeowners to get repairs done at the lowest cost.
“On average, we have about 30 homeowners that participate each year,” Hatmaker said.
Hatmaker said there will also be one change to the program this year. Based on a resolution the trustees passed in 2014, the township will be assessing some sidewalks and forcing township residents to participate in the program.
“Our road department has assessed some sidewalks in the township that are in need of repair and has sent notices to the property owners that they must participate in this program,” Hatmaker said. “These sidewalks are in Lincoln Village North and are the oldest sidewalks in the township.”
Hatmaker said approximately half of the 30 homes that will participate will be mandated to by the township, leaving approximately 15 open spots for homeowners who voluntarily want to.
“This has been a very successful program and residents seem to appreciate getting a chance to make these repairs interest free,” Hatmaker said. “We want to continue to make our township more walkable and this helps us achieve that goal.”
A public hearing for the Prairie Township Sidewalk Improvement and Assessment Program will take place at 7 p.m. April 29 at the Prairie Township Administration Office, 23 Maple Drive.