Voters may decide how village will pay for its new sidewalks

Trustees consider using referendum to increase levy
Ozaukee Press Staff

Fredonia village trustees are looking at putting a referendum on the April ballot to let residents decide how the village should pay for installing sidewalks.

The referendum would seek a one-time increase in the tax levy for 2020 to install sidewalks in existing neighborhoods where no sidewalks exist and possibly in areas where there is no development to link existing sidewalks.

It also would ask residents whether they support a plan to split the cost in those existing neighborhoods between the village and homeowners or whether the village should pay the entire cost for their installation.

“We’re trying to make the streets safe for kids to walk to school,” Trustee John Long said.

Officials estimate the cost to install sidewalks in those areas to be at least $150,000.

The village has struggled with how to pay for sidewalks for some time.

Earlier this year, trustees voted to require developers of new subdivisions to foot the entire bill for installing sidewalks while homeowners in existing neighborhoods would split the cost with the village.

This fall, however, homeowners and trustees balked at that policy, saying the entire village should pay for sidewalks and questioning the need for them. That caused trustees to research the matter further.       

Trustee Jill Bertram echoed that sentiment last week, saying, “There are a lot of homeowners who don’t want to pay for the them. They don’t even want them.”

Trustees voted to direct the Plan Commission to research the referendum.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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