Yes, a construction permit is required; however, there are no permit fees.
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Iowa State Code and City Ordinance have established that the maintenance and repair of sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjoining property owner. This is detailed in the Iowa Code section 364.12(d) and the City of Johnston Code Book Chapter 136 Sidewalk regulations (136.05) and provides the City of Johnston the ability to require an owner to repair a sidewalk adjacent to their property.
By opting into the city’s sidewalk program, it offers the property owner a low-cost solution to repair/replace sidewalk panels that are out of compliance with city, state and federal guidelines. The more residents that join the program, the better price the city will receive from a contractor. This will save the property owner time and money by not having to locate and hire individual contractors for their replacement project.
The city has been divided into eight segments and all sidewalks in each of the segments will be inspected in the same year. In addition, if a complaint is received on the condition of a sidewalk, an inspection will be made at the time the complaint is received.
There are a few options for the property owner to repair the sidewalk. Property owners can perform the repair or replacement themselves. They can hire their own contractor to make the necessary repairs or replacement. The property owner can opt into the city’s sidewalk program and have the city’s contractor repair or replace the deficient sidewalk panels.
It would be appreciated if the repairs were completed as soon as possible to provide pedestrians with a safe passageway; however, deadlines are established and given in the notification letter. Typically, sidewalks marked as part of the inspection program are identified with a deadline for completion of repairs. Please note that the repair work must be completed within two weeks after removing the sidewalk.
If the repairs are not completed by the deadline stated in your notification letter, the city will take charge of the repair work and invoice you for the repair costs.
The city will bid a new contract each year and the cost will be determined at that time. After the deadline, an inventory of which sidewalks have and have not been repaired will be made. A list will be compiled and a bid will be solicited from contractors to repair those sidewalks. Depending on the lowest responsible bid received, the city will charge the property owner for the costs of making sidewalk repairs on their property. The current anticipated cost per panel of sidewalk ranges from $400 to $600. Many factors will determine this cost, such as the size of the project, material and labor costs and contractor availability.
The city will only remove and replace sidewalk squares if the city takes charge of the repair work. Therefore, if you desire to utilize a repair option other than removal and replacement, you will need to arrange for the work.
The city will first invoice the property owner for the costs incurred and will work with the property owner in making the payment. Only if the invoice is not paid within 30 days will the property be assessed and added to property taxes.
If you have the ability to complete the repairs to the city’s specifications, you may complete the repair work yourself.
The city cannot recommend contractors as we are unable to favor any particular contractor. The city does not require that the contractors be licensed and therefore does not have an approved contractor list.
There are different acceptable methods of repair depending on the repair type marked on the inspection sheet. The sidewalk inspection report details repair types. The recommended method of repair is removal and replacement for all types; however, other options are as follows:
Absolutely. The city only marks the minimum number of squares to eliminate hazards. You may have additional squares in marginal condition that you may want to repair, or you may find it in your best interest to replace entire segments of the sidewalk rather than doing spot repairs.
The city does require the forms and grade to be inspected. However, an inspection can be made after the forms are set and before the concrete is poured. Inspection arrangements are to be made at least 24 hours in advance.
The city does not have funds allocated to offset the costs property owners will incur to repair their sidewalks.
Call Johnston Public Works at 515-278-0822, so we may re-evaluate the location of the marked squares. If the square(s) is adjacent to your neighbor’s property, a letter will be sent to your neighbor.
Yes, if you recently sold the property, the records may not have been updated at the Polk County Recorder’s office yet. By notifying the city of the recent sale, we can notify the correct property owner.
If you believe the squares marked adjacent to your property do not meet the criteria established on the inspection form, or it would be preferable to repair the adjoining square, please call Johnston Public Works at 515-278-0822. A second opinion of the need for repairs may be requested. The city will have a different inspector look at the sidewalk and evaluate it for meeting the criteria.
The city tries to be as fair and as consistent as possible when marking sidewalk squares for repair. If you believe we missed a sidewalk needing repair, or there is a sidewalk in another area of your neighborhood that also needs repair work, please call Johnston Public Works at 515-278-0822 with the addresses to initiate inspections of those sidewalks.
Any irrigation system (lines or heads) that are in the public right-of-way are susceptible to damage and are the responsibility of the homeowner to repair.
Notification is not necessary. The city will automatically re-inspect the sidewalks marked for repair after the deadline stated in your notification letter.