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Who should pay for sidewalks?

Last month the Crosslake City Council approved a plan for the city to pay for sidewalks leading from the edge of the Pine Peaks property on Swann Drive to Crosslake Town Square. An email to the council, however, challenged who should pay the bill.

Paul McCulloch of Pine Peaks Lodge addressed the council by email, stating that when he purchased his property, part of his expense was the sidewalks around it. He questioned why, then, the taxpayers would pay the bill for this new sidewalk.

Pat Netko, owner of Lake Country Crafts and Cones, also addressed the council on the matter.

“Do I want to pay for that when it’s not going to benefit my property?” she asked the council.

Council member John Moengen presented two options.

“We can continue like we’ve done for years and years and wait until someone develops it (then have the developer build the sidewalk) or we can say, for safety reasons for people here, let’s get it finished,” Moengen said.

The council approved a bid for the project and asked both the city attorney, Brad Person, and city engineer, Dave Reese, to look into options on how to collect on the sidewalk costs in the future.

The approved bid, which came from Anderson Brothers and is for all 2013 street improvements, is in the amount of $275,803.46.