City eyes more sidewalk repairs


CLINTON — Downtown sidewalks emerged again Tuesday as a topic of discussion for Clinton city commissioners.

Ed Cicenas, owner of EMC Photography, addressed the city council asking commissioners to consider repairing sidewalk that runs in front of his business.  Cicenas’s business is located just off the square on W. Main Street.

Commissioners recently addressed issues with a sidewalk and stairwell near businesses owned by Melissa Morris.  Her businesses also are located just off the square at Center and Washington streets.

“This is something I talked to Tim Followell about several times,” Cicenas said.

Followell retired as city administrator at the end of 2021.

“It is a dangerous spot,” Cicenas said as commissioners looked at photos of the sidewalk near his business.  “There’s a point at which there is actually a four-inch rise in elevation on the cement from things breaking apart.”

Cicenas said the problem has been ongoing and that the sidewalk was in its current condition when he moved into the building.  He said he was concerned about the safety of his clients, particular the elderly, who have to use the sidewalk.

“I really don’t want to put them on the sidewalk in front of the building, but I don’t really have a choice.”

He said if the city was going to address sidewalk issues in other parts of the square, “I would also like it to be addressed in my area.”

Some commissioners feel maintenance and repair of downtown sidewalks in front of businesses is the responsibility of the building owners.  Other commissioners feel the city is responsible. 

City code appears to not be specific in addressing financial obligation when it comes to sidewalk repairs.  Following are portions of the city code pertaining to sidewalks:

7-5-3: MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS:

All public street, alley and sidewalk pavements shall be kept in good repair. Such repair work, whether done by the city or by the abutting owner, shall be under the supervision of the commissioner of streets and public improvements. (1968 Code, sec. 28-105)

7-5-4: DEFECTS REPORTED:

It shall be the duty of every city officer or employee becoming cognizant of any defect in any street, alley or sidewalk, or any obstruction thereof, to report the same to the commissioner of streets and public improvements as soon as possible. (1968 Code, sec. 28-106)

• See the complete story in the Friday, Sept. 9 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.

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