These sidewalks are not taxed and their liability and maintenance is deferred to the abutting property owner via Town Code 183-5. Much of the sidewalk in the town is typically made of poured concrete that is four feet wide and four inches thick and is 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch). The sidewalks are situated between the curb and street right of way line. Historically, they were installed by the developer of each subdivision after World War II and into the 1960s when a majority of the town was growing.
Repairing and Replacing Sidewalks
The sidewalks in town have aged fairly well. Typical failure is a result of structural breaks, substantial spalling, tree root damage, utility dig repairs and general settlement. Currently, sidewalks are only replaced if the abutting property owner replaces them, or they may be replaced as part of a larger reconstruction project or a utility dig repair. If a town-owned street tree causes sidewalk damage, then our Highway Department can evaluate it for possible inclusion on their sidewalk replacement program for tree root damage.
Public versus Private Money
Again, typically, tax money was not used to install the sidewalks originally and a taxing structure does not currently exist for their repair or maintenance. The current replacement cost is about $5.50 per square foot which equates to an approximate value of $51.7 million for the Town of Tonawanda.
Report a Concern
Constituent complaints regarding sidewalks may be directed to the Technical Support Department through the use of our Sidewalk Assessment Form. A Notice of Claim may be filed in the town clerk’s office to initiate an investigation by the Technical Support Department.