Franklin announces pilot sidewalk replacement program

From staff reports

The City of Franklin is unveiling its neighborhood sidewalk pilot program to Franklin residents.

Under the program, eligible property owners can complete an application to have unsafe or damaged sidewalks repaired by qualified contractors, with the city sharing 50% of the cost of the work with the property owners.

This first phase of the program is focused on repairing or replacing low quality sidewalks, providing access for persons with disabilities and/or mobility restrictions, and filling gaps in the sidewalk system, according to Amanda Power, the city’s community development director.

The city prioritized strategically selected areas due to their proximity to major destinations and safety shortcomings in the sidewalks, Power said.

The first eligible area is 12th Street, beginning at Eagle and ending at Buffalo; Chestnut, beginning at 13th and ending at 10th; Buffalo, beginning at 13th and ending at 10th; and 11th, beginning at Chestnut and ending at Liberty.

Property owners in the eligible project area will be receiving a letter and a copy of the application next week, said Power, who wrote the grant that helped fund the program.

She said financial assistance was provided by the McElhattan Foundation.

“Long-term we believe that basic infrastructure improvements like these will enhance the livability of our neighborhoods,” Power said. “Sidewalks play a key role in Franklin’s vision of a beautiful friendly city with great neighborhoods and convenient connectivity to our downtown, where easy pedestrian access is vital.”

Power said the program is primarily designed to assist residential property owners with the improvements necessary to make their sidewalks safe and usable.

If the amount of interest exceeds the funds available, the city will prioritize the projects by the deterioration of the sidewalk, the anticipated benefit to the neighborhood with the safety improvement, and the proposed project’s continuity with other sidewalk improvements, Power said.

Detailed information on the program can be found on the city’s website under the Development Department. Anyone with questions can call City Hall at (814) 437-1922.