County to help fund sidewalk and curb repairs

January 13, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

A program that lets homeowners pay one-fourth of the cost of new sidewalks -- with the county and local civic association picking up the rest -- will apply to residents along a section of Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard whose property floods because it is lower than the roadway.

Donald Gibson, who heads the program for the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, said this week that the organization had found an obscure law and precedents that allow a county government to maintain sidewalks along state roads.

Because Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard is a state road, county officials had balked at subsidizing the replacement of sidewalks and curbs there.

The state said it generally does not replace sidewalks and curbs, even though its repeated repaving of the roadway has raised it to curb height.

Residents said they have replaced curbs and sidewalks twice in 46 years, and this time they felt government agencies should shoulder some of the financial responsibility.

Lewis Tawney, who has been struggling for two years to get the sidewalks in front of his home repaired, said he was pleasantly surprised by the news.

"They came up to me [before Tuesday night's GBIA meeting] and said, 'You have some good news coming tonight,' " Mr. Tawney said.

In its second year, the GBIA's cooperative program has Anne Arundel County paying half the cost of replacing crumbled residential sidewalks. The other half is split between the civic group and participating homeowners.

Mr. Tawney said he expects to pay about $350 for new sidewalks.

Mr. Gibson said he is negotiating with the State Highway Administration to pay for new curbs to go with the sidewalks.

The cost of the 8-inch high curbing nearly doubles the cost of the project.

About two blocks -- from Oak Lane to the county's Sanitary Commission building, south of Dorsey Road -- are affected.

In recent years, a few property owners have had the work done on their own.

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