CINCINNATI -- Northside residents say it's been a nightmare trying to comply with the city's requests to have homeowners fix their sidewalks, and some say they aren't getting the help they need.
City workers painted marks in sidewalk blocks to show which ones need to be replaced. If the homeowners don't fix them soon, they'll have to pay even more.
Connie Nuxoll has lived in Northside for 30 years. She was walking her dog one day when she saw the white Xs and wondered what was going on. Last week, she received a letter from the city stating she AND WHAT must fix their broken sidewalks by July 28.
"This has been our hassle and our headaches," she said.
An estimate for the work priced it at more than $700 for two sidewalk blocks and one in the driveway. Her neighbor had a $1,200 estimate for five blocks and 11 feet of curb.
The city did estimates for 1,000 locations. Officials said, according to city code, it is the homeowners' responsibility to foot the bill.
Nuxoll said she called a contractor on the city's list of approved companies. She's been waiting on a call back. Homeowners technically can hire an unapproved licensed contractor, but will have to pay the city a $10,000 bond.
For anyone who doesn't hire out and pay, the city will do it, and automatically collect the money with property taxes.
Nuxoll called it "very frustrating."
"It can keep you up at night," she said.
City Transportation & Engineering Director Michael Moore said the city has run similar programs in the Central Business District, College Hill, Westwood, Spring Grove Village, Oakley and Mount Washington since 2011.
"The sidewalks in the City of Cincinnati are one of the city’s great assets and an important part of the city’s transportation infrastructure," he said. "Sidewalks are vital to livable neighborhoods and thriving business districts."