Lewisport passes sidewalk ordinance

At the regularly scheduled Lewisport City Council meeting on April 15, 2021 the council approved Ordinance 21-2, which deals with the maintenance and repairs of sidewalks within the city limits. On a roll call vote, all council members present voted to pass the ordinance.

The ordinance specifies the parties responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, and the parties responsible for sidewalk repairs.

“It shall be the duty of each and every person owning, possessing or occupying lots or real estate fronting and abutting on any public sidewalk in the city to keep the sidewalk free from hazards, trash, weeds, grass clippings and debris so far as the same so fronts or abuts upon his or her lots or real estate,” the ordinance reads. “Any snow and/or ice accumulations, if removed, shall be removed by the abutting property owner.”

In addition the ordinance gives the mayor the authority to determine when, if and how to maintain, repair or replace a sidewalk within the city. Options include the city performing the work, or the hiring of a contractor to make the repairs.

Section three of the ordinance pertains to the indemnification of the city regarding a sidewalk in disrepair. It shifts the liability to the property owner in case of an accident.

“Each owner as described in Section 1 shall indemnify and hold harmless the city from all claims or losses by or to persons or property of others caused by the said owner’s failure to repair, reconstruct, and keep in good order and in reasonably safe condition all such sidewalks abutting and fronting his property upon any street or roadway within the corporate limits of the city.”

This section means if someone gets injured on a sidewalk in front of a person’s home due to debris or other material which causes an unsafe condition, the person responsible for keeping the sidewalk safe as outlined in section one of the ordinance assumes the liability for any damages.
“We have this for liability issues,” Lewisport Mayor Chad Gregory says.

In other news
• The city awarded the street repair bid to Scotty’s in the amount of $41,795.77.
• The city began installing security cameras in Chapman Park.
• The city approved a Fair Housing Proclamation to help Hancock County Public Library secure a grant.
• The city declared its 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck surplus property to be sold at the upcoming surplus auction at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.

By Ralph Dickerson

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