Mayor Winnecke proposes more sidewalk improvements this year

Mayor Winnecke proposes more sidewalk improvements this year

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Mayor Lloyd Winnecke has proposed to utilize existing funds in the 2015 budget for additional sidewalk repairs and improvements in areas throughout Evansville.

City officials say the plan would to boost the sidewalk budget by nearly $550,000.

We're told it would be the largest funding increase for sidewalks since 2012. That year, Mayor Winnecke recommended supplementing the sidewalk budget with $500,000 from a $2.9 million County Option Income Tax refund the city received from the state.

"Our Administration is continually looking for creative ways to invest in our city's sewer and sidewalk infrastructures," said Mayor Winnecke. "Improving sidewalks is an important commitment to our taxpayers, especially as city planners take positive steps toward making our community more walkable."

This year, Mayor Winnecke will seek to transfer $300,000 between accounts within the Barrett Law Sidewalk Fund that would allow the City Engineer's office to invest the money for sidewalk improvements in neighborhoods citywide.

The Barrett Law provides a mechanism for property owners to participate with municipalities in the cost of sidewalk infrastructure repairs and improvements.

In addition to the Barrett Law funds, the administration will use the remaining $248,000 from a General Obligation Revenue Bond for sidewalks within low-to-moderate income areas.

Those funds would be added to money currently budgeted for sidewalk improvements.

An ordinance requesting the Barrett Law Sidewalk Fund transfer will go before the Evansville City Council for first reading on Monday, July 27, with the second and final readings expected to be set for August 10.

The meetings will be held in Room 301 in the Civic Center Complex.

Copyright 2015 WFIE. All rights reserved.