Paonia's registered voters approved a $3-a-month fee per location on in-town utility bills. That fee is designated for the repair of sidewalks.
Voters were in favor of the ballot question 299 to 212.
Barbara Peterson, Paonia town clerk, initially brought the idea before the town council in a policy issue statement dated June 22, 2011. She had written this while going for her master's degree.
A question similar to the one in 2013 was first on the ballot for the county-coordinated election in November 2011. It failed.
"I'm very excited just because it was my baby to begin with," Peterson said. "That's my brain child. So, I'm excited to see how it works out. Hopefully we'll be able to get a whole bunch of sidewalks fixed."
Collecting $3 a month from each utility user starting Jan. 1, 2014, will take a while to accumulate enough revenue to begin sidewalk repairs. "That process will be coordinated with public works. I imagine we will have to accumulate at least for three or four months. You can't spend money you don't have yet," Peterson said.
These funds are not for trees that are uprooting sidewalks. That was not included in the ballot question.
"We talked about this today (Nov. 8) at the staff meeting. We think we're going to look at revising the sidewalk ordinance," Peterson said. "We want to be able to incorporate alternative materials for sidewalks. Because the ballot issue did not address trees, we have to talk about that as well and find out what the board [of trustees] wants to do."
The town will follow the plan as outlined in the Paonia Pathways report for the sidewalks to repair. Peterson said the town will start with the worst sidewalks, which include sidewalks school kids use.blog comments powered by Disqus