skpic michael fougere

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere is looking for options on how to deal with a program to fix sidewalks. (CBC)

Michael Fougere, the mayor of Regina, says residents can expect to see changes — next year — in a controversial program that charges homeowners for sidewalk repairs.

"The program won't look like it [does] today," Fougere said Monday after city council decided to ask administration to research the Local Improvement Program.

The program allocates the cost of sidewalk repairs to those who live on the street. It can add several thousand dollars to a tax bill. Residents are given a vote on the program. Recently, a number of proposed repairs have been shelved because taxpayers voted against the additional levy.

The program was also controversial because, in some areas, upgrades to a road were put on hold because a sidewalk improvement was nixed by residents.

Fougere said Monday he wants to see how the program can be improved -- or even eliminated.

"[The review] is going to generate some ideas on some program changes ... or whether we even have a Local Improvement Program at all," Fougere said.

He said he also wants city officials to look at how the costs for a project are allocated and "whether the city pays for a larger portion or all of the work."

Fougere added he wants to know how other cities handle sidewalk upgrades.

"We just need some options to look at, well before we look at the 2015 Local Improvement Program," he said. "Either revamp it, change it or just not even use it."