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Neighbors concerned about Soledad sidewalks in state of disrepair

soledad sidewalk
Credit: Lucio Rios

SOLEDAD, Calif. (KION) Neighbors have safety concerns on their minds after seeing some sidewalks in a state of disrepair throughout Soledad.

“You don’t have to drive far to find buckled sidewalks, cracked sidewalks,” Soledad resident Tami Guerra said.

We took a drive around the city and found uneven and cracked sidewalks on East Street, West Street and Market Streets; some of the worst were located on Madera Street and Inca Drive. Some are near large trees that appear to have lifted the sidewalks, but it's unclear exactly what caused the others over time.

Neighbors want the city to take action to get the damaged sidewalks repaired.

“One, it’s a safety hazard and two, it’s city property and the city should 
have money to repair the sidewalks as they’re damaged,” Guerra said.

But as KION learns, neighbors might be forced to do the repairs themselves.

We asked local government officials, 'who bears the responsibility to repair–the city or the homeowner?'–and they told us that it's up to the nearby property owner to get the sidewalks fixed.

“Under state law, the responsibility for sidewalks lies with the adjacent property owner. That’s something that’s been long established and a number of cities do," Soledad Interim City Manager Brent Slama said."That being said, it’s definitely something we’re concerned about. We want to see if there’s some ways that we can help."

Some locals found the fact that property owners are responsible for the repairs troubling, since sidewalks are generally considered public property.

“I do not have the funds to go and fix a sidewalk when it’s not my property.”

When Guerra reached a dead end with the city trying to get the sidewalk in front of her home fixed, she decided to just get it repaired herself, which she tells us cost about $400.

The city says they don’t have the money for repairs.

“We have so many miles of sidewalks and we just don’t have funding set aside for programming for sidewalk repairs,” Slama said.

Soledad isn’t alone–California cities, including Sacramento and San Diego 
also place the responsibility for repairs on property owners, depending on 
the situation.

Under state law, if the property owner doesn’t repair the sidewalk in a 
timely manner, the city can fix it themselves and put a lien on the property 
for the cost of repairs.

The City Manager’s office told us they plan to bring the issue before the City Council in mid-September.

They recommend contacting the city or the Public Works Department if you have questions or concerns about your property.

Monterey County / Top Stories

Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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