Sidewalk Improvement Grant
Sidewalks are an important part of the infrastructure in an urban community. Sidewalks connect neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses and provide safe passage for citizens to get around the community.
Sidewalks are typically constructed within the public right-of-way. In Windsor Heights, as in most jurisdictions, the adjacent property owner is responsible for the construction, repair and maintenance of sidewalks. Property owners have the responsibility to make sure sidewalks are safe, in good repair and clear of impediments, including the removal of snow and ice, low lying tree branches and yard waste. Residents are required by ordinance to clear sidewalks (including pedestrian ramps) within 48 hours after the end of a snowfall.
Properties without existing sidewalks are not required to install sidewalks as part of City Ordinance. City policy is to evaluate the need for sidewalks as roads are reconstructed and if warranted sidewalks may be installed by the City as part of the road reconstruction project.
Sidewalk Inspection Process
The City currently inspects sidewalks on a compliant basis. Concerns or complaints regarding a sidewalks condition may be made to Deputy City Clerk Nate Leuthold at email@example.com or by calling 515-645-6826.
A Citywide existing sidewalk inspection program is in the process of being implemented to ensure existing sidewalks remain in good accessible condition.
Sidewalk Repair Grant Program
The City of Windsor Heights has allocated $50,000 to the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget to assist Windsor Heights property owners in repairing defective sidewalks on a first come first serve basis.
Residents must call Windsor Heights Public Works and have their sidewalk assessed for defects to determine which of their sidewalk panels are eligible for grant funding. Grant dollars may only be used towards replacement of defective sidewalk panels. Sidewalk repairs must occur after grant approval and must be inspected and meet City Code requirements to be eligible for reimbursement.
Applicants are approved on a first come first serve basis. Approved applicants will be eligible for their defective sidewalk panels to be replaced, with a 50/50 cost share by the City, up to $1,000. For example, if it costs $3,000 to repair a defective sidewalk section, the City would reimburse the resident $1,000. If the repair costs $1,500, the City would reimburse the resident $750.
A typical cost for replacing one panel of sidewalk is $300-500.
The City is not able to recommend specific contractors to complete sidewalk repairs. A list of area concrete contractors licensed by the state can be obtained here by selecting poured concrete under principal activity and then selecting a city. However, there is no requirement that a contractor be licensed. The Urbandale/Windsor Heights Chamber of Commerce’s website also provides an option to obtain multiple pricing quotes from contractors from their membership. It may also be advantageous to obtain an estimate for sidewalk repair in partnership with neighbors seeking to complete repairs in order to achieve quantity of scale discount.
1. Only public sidewalks in the city right of way qualify.
2. Only single-family properties are eligible.
3. The program will reimburse residents for repair of defective sidewalk panels, not a complete sidewalk replacement. Thus, if a resident only has two defective panels but decides to replace their entire sidewalk, they will not be eligible for reimbursement. Any sidewalks less than 4’ in width shall qualify for the program for replacement as a 4’ wide sidewalk.
4. “Defective sidewalk” is defined in Windsor Heights Code 136.02, or click here for a visual aid, to assist residents in determining whether or not their sidewalk panels are defective. One defective panel may necessitate replacement of adjoining panels to bring the sidewalk into compliance. In these instances all impacted panels are qualified under the grant program.
5. To apply for reimbursement, the resident will have to fill out a brief application, have their sidewalk inspected and notified which sections of sidewalk are eligible. A ROW Sidewalk /Drive Approval Permit Application must be completed and approved prior to work occurring. If the permit and grant application are approved, the resident shall be required to submit an invoice and receipt for the work completed by the contractor. In the event that a resident wants to repair their own sidewalk, they shall obtain all required permits and provide a receipt for materials used. Labor costs shall not be reimbursed if the work is self-performed.
6. Any and all repairs will be in accordance with the specifications established by Chapter 136.
7. Following the application for reimbursement, a member of the Public Works Department will confirm the work was completed and assuming it is in accordance with the submitted invoice, the funds will be distributed by the City to the legal property owner.
8. This program supplements Windsor Heights Chapter 136, does not amend or modify it in any way and the program will end on June 30th, 2024 or until funding ($50,000) is exhausted. The program may be modified or terminated at any time.
9. Submit invoices to Adam Plagge at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-645-6808.
- Call Public Works to get inspection by calling Andy Larson at 515-645-6825
- Obtain contractor quote
- Apply for grant
- Obtain grant approval
- Obtain ROW permit
- Complete work
- Have sidewalk inspected by Public Works by calling Andy Larson at 515-645-6825
- Submit invoice to Adam Plagge at email@example.com or call 515-645-6808
- Receive reimbursement
For more information on the sidewalk grant program please contact Adam Plagge firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-645-6808.
Residents may also be eligible for Neighborhood Finance Corporation forgivable loans for sidewalk and/or other home improvements. Learn more at www.neighborhoodfinance.org/lending-area-descriptions/