During construction season in Shawano some streets are being fit with new sidewalks, as part of the city’s effort to make it more connected and walk-able.
“That was something that years ago, when the comprehensive plan that we’re working under, was really identified as a weakness in Shawano,” said Director of Public Works Eddie Sheppard. “We had sidewalks that were kind of hit or miss. You had a block of sidewalk and then no sidewalk and that was something that people identified as a concern.”
To help alleviate those concerns, the city’s goal was to start figuring out a way to implement those connections.
“What we’ve been doing primarily is adding sidewalk where we see it feasible when we’re doing our street reconstruction,” Sheppard said. “For example, on Hamlin that project. There was sidewalk hit or miss on that street, so we’re adding it in.”
There are fees associated with sidewalk implementation, but the city feels they’ve done well in limiting those costs for residents.
“Right now, the city pays for 50 percent of the installation of that and the rest goes to the property owner and then future maintenance is 100 percent at the cost of the city,” explained Sheppard.
He adds that situation is unusual, given many cities assess the entire sidewalk cost on the residents.
Sheppard also says the field and finance committees, along with council, are looking towards options of funding those projects in the future at a mitigated cost to the residents, though they’re still looking at areas where sidewalks are needed.