There is a lot of confusion about who is responsible for the sidewalks in our neighborhood and throughout Kansas City. Many people have asked when the City will fix our sidewalks. The answer is, they probably won’t.
The area including the sidewalks and the parkways (between the sidewalk and the street), have an unusual governance; the City regulates them but the property owners have the responsibility for their maintenance. The City will remove dead trees from the parkways. However, the City Code requires individual property owners to maintain the curb, sidewalk and drive approaches abutting their property.
Property owners may make repairs themselves or use a contractor of their choice as long as they obtain a permit. Repairs can also be made through a city contract with the costs assessed back to the property owner.
The City can also issue Special Assessments. Assessments are issued to owners for actual costs of repairs made on the property plus a 16% fee for administration and inspection. Assessments can be paid off in full with no interest within the first 60 days. They can also be paid off over 15 years, billed annually. The City will charge at least 5% in interest and the assessment will show up as a lien on the property.
Based on recent projects, the City estimates sidewalk repairs to cost about $150 per five-foot square. This would be $1500 for an entire 50 foot frontage. Since government contracts can have special contractor requirements, it is likely property owners could get a lower price by contracting on their own.