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BALLSTON SPA: Complaints expose cracks in sidewalk codes

Another resident took issue with new homes being built and not installing sidewalks at all.

"There are sidewalks around the roundabouts in Malta, and they lead nowhere. If we are a strolling village, we need to look at linkages in sidewalks."

Bushant said his concern was a lack of sidewalks on Ralph Street, forcing his family to walk in the road to reach the village public pool.

Kupferman argued that patrolling sidewalks could bring in issues of overly monitoring private property owners.

"The codes that apply to sidewalks are the same building codes that require homes to be safe, clean and sanitary," said Kupferman. "What if someone has paint chips on their house you don't like? How far can paint decay before someone comes in to complain? We can send people a letter their property doesn't meet safety standards. Beyond that, we become Big Brother."

On Monday night, the board did patch up some of the issues of improving sidewalks by increasing the reimbursement rate for anyone filling in the cracks in their sidewalks.

Property owners can now receive $2.50 per square foot for sidewalk and curb repairs. The village has given back $90,000 to people over the last 10 years who have taken the effort to upgrade the paths in front of their homes and businesses.

"This is an incentive to fix them up that most people don't even know about," said Romano. "Perhaps in the next run of water use invoices we should include a message about the reimbursements. The starting point is more public awareness." ""

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