Some Regina homeowners say paying for sidewalk repairs 'unfair'
Some residents would have to absorb as much as $7,500 each for the repairs
A group of homeowners in Regina say they're prepared to vote against having the sidewalk in front of their homes fixed after learning it would cost them thousands of dollars.
The city wants to replace the sidewalk, curb and gutter along Grant Drive and have people living on the street front the bill, which would be added to their property taxes.
T.J. Ennis, who's lived on the street more than 45 years, would have to pay about $7,500.
"I'm gonna petition against it," said Ennis. "Because I don't wanna pay that kind of money when I'm already paying taxes for my property."
Ennis isn't alone in his fight against city hall. His neighbour Robert Pitzel posted his sidewalk replacement bill on Facebook — also $7,500.
Pitzel has the option of paying an annual fee of more than $1,000 for ten years.
City says homeowner would only pay 1 per cent of bill
The City of Regina said in 2013 it asked Regina homeowners on seven separate streets if they wanted to pay for sidewalk and gutter replacement and in every case, the majority voted for the repair and accepted the bill.
The city said the Local Improvement Program has been around since the 1980s, and that's where the costs are coming from.
The total cost to repair the road, sidewalk, curb and gutter on Grant Drive is $3 million, and homeowners would have to pick up a portion of that, said city officials.
"If they approve the Local Improvement Program they'll be looking at 18 per cent of the total cost to that project," said Adam Homes, the city's director of roadways and transportation services. "So that's less than one per cent for each homeowner."
But Ennis argues his property tax should cover all the repair work in front of his home, including the sidewalk and gutter replacement.
He and other homeowners are ready to sign a petition to refuse the repair work, which is what they also did in 2009.
"It's more money now so I can only assume that we'll turn it down again," he said. "I only can hope that we will."
Residents of Grant Drive have until March 10 to petition against sidewalk repair. If the group wants to avoid paying the bill, it needs more than 50 per cent of affected people to oppose it.