Paonia’s five and a quarter miles of bumpy, deteriorating sidewalks are a problem. Earlier this year the Town attempted to get homeowners to pay for their own sidewalk repair -- but met with resistance from residents who said they could not afford it, even if the Town contributes half the cost of concrete up to $500.
Now ballot question 2A calls for a three dollar per month addition to utility bills for ten years to cover the cost of sidewalk maintenance.
The Paonia Town Council last night walked back their “fix the sidewalk or else” approach, after hearing from residents upset about a letter requiring sidewalk repair, based on a decades-old ordinance that has never been enforced. Residents who failed to comply would have been faced with a $1000 fine which could take the form of a lien on their home if they failed to pay.
Paonia citizens waited through eleven agenda items and several reports before the opportunity to talk about sidewalks finally arrived. By then, one 37-year resident of the town had a bit of pent up anger.