WAVERLY — Waverly village officials may soon look to ramp up its code enforcement of dilapidated sidewalks after a village-wide survey taken earlier this year showed sidewalks as one of residents’ top concerns.

“We have codes in place for a reason,” Deputy Mayor Andrew Aronstam said. “We’re obligated as a board to enforce these codes.”

The discussion stemmed from Mayor Patrick Ayres informing the board that, as specified in the village code, it is technically up to the village board to determine that a sidewalk should be replaced in the village.

“We just have to be aware of what we’re actually taking on,” he said. “If we deem that a sidewalk has to be fixed, we open ourselves up to liabilities up until that sidewalk is actually fixed.”

Trustees were undeterred, however, and agreed that there are a number of sidewalks in the village that are exceptionally deteriorated.

“People agree to live by the codes once they live in the village,” Aronstam said. “It may not make us popular, but it’s no secret that some of our sidewalks are bad.”

Officials explained that if trustees deem that a sidewalk should be replaced, the homeowner will be notified in writing that they need to have the work performed. If the homeowner does not have the sidewalk fixed or replaced, the village will replace it and send the bill to the homeowner. If the property owner does not pay the bill, the balance is put on the owner’s tax rolls.

Trustees also reminded residents that the village has a sidewalk program that will provide 75 percent or up to $1,000 for a qualifying property owner that is looking to replace his or her sidewalk. That figure rises to $2,000 if the parcel is located on a corner lot.

Applications are available online at www.villageofwaverly.com or by visiting the village hall at 32 Ithaca St. More information can be found by calling 607-565-8106.

“Through the survey, the community has spoken,” Ayres said. “And sidewalks was one of their major concerns.”

Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 232 or jwilliams@morning-times.com. Follow Johnny Williams on Twitter @johnnywMT

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