Sidewalk complaints surface in Youngsville

Crumbling sidewalks are generating complaints to Youngsville Borough Council.

Resident Pat Cronmiller originally raised the issue before council last week.

“My wife and I do like to get out and walk a lot,” he said. “(The) trouble with walking in the borough of Youngsville, you have to walk with your head down” watching your feet given the condition of the sidewalk.

He estimated that 70 to 90 percent of the sidewalks in the borough “are not in order with the sidewalk ordinance.”

He called on the borough to inspect sidewalks and volunteered his service in that endeavor.

“There is a sidewalk committee,” Mayor Jim Farr said. “They’re going to go around and check all the sidewalks.”

Council member Pam Olewine said that the committee met prior to the council meeting and that they “have plans to go around… and do exactly what you suggested.”

Council member Erik Leamon said that the committee will examine areas it knows to be issues and be on the look-out for other problem areas so that letters can be sent and the borough can “take care of the sidewalks.”

Under the borough’s sidewalk ordinance, if a sidewalk falls into disrepair, the borough will send a letter to the property owner indicating that the issue must be rectified. If the owner fails to take action, the borough can, of its own volition, do the work and then bill the owner for the cost of the sidewalk plus 10 percent.

Council member Steve Morris expressed concern about the enforcement element of the ordinance. If the bill is issued “and they don’t pay,” he said, “we know we’re not getting it back.” He said that if the borough did recoup the funds it could come with “a hefty fee from a lawyer somewhere trying to get it.”

Several parking changes were also discussed, but were tabled until members of the community that would be effected can be contacted.