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Denver residents will have to start fixing their messed up sidewalks

Property owners may have to fix their sidewalks as part of a Denver program.

KUSA — Just like with snow shoveling, the city of Denver is about to start requiring residents to keep the condition of their sidewalks in shape … even during the summer.

The Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair program kicks off in the Capitol Hill neighborhood next month.

All property owners will be subject to this thorough exam, but it starts with property owners between 20th Avenue/Park Avenue and Alameda Avenue and Broadway to Downing Street.

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"Dead giveaways would be badly damaged sidewalks, uneven sidewalks, excessively slopping, those are some of the key problems that we'll be addressing through this program," said Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn.

Starting next month, city inspectors will start notifying property owners if they need to fix their sidewalks.

If the sidewalk is three-quarters of an inch or more separated from the adjoining slab, it will need to be fixed.

Credit: KUSA
This sidewalk has seen better days.

If the sidewalk has a slope of five percent of more, it will need to be fixed.

If the slab is badly damaged…are you sensing a pattern?

"I get stuck on lips and stuff, so definitely not the most enjoyable thing for me," said Joshua Allenback, who was pushing his niece in a stroller through Capitol Hill. "Very bumpy for her, not comfortable I'm sure. She's been very vocal, if I hit a very large bump, she'll yell at me, she'll be like, that wasn't fun, stop doing that."

Property owners won't be required to do a complete remodel. Other options include:

- Grinding

- Patching

- Mudjacking

“Through grinding, we're taking two stones and evening them out," Kuhn said. "(Mudjacking), you actually inject material into a sidewalk section to raise it up and make it level with the adjacent one."

The city will give property owners 45 days to get the sidewalks fixed.

"If we don't hear from you that you're going to hire your own contractor or do the repairs yourself, our contractor will begin work after 45 days, and then we will invoice the property owner," Kuhn said.

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She said the city will work with you if you can't get the work done within 45 days.

"This is a brand-new program, we've never done this before in the city of Denver," Kuhn said. "We're going to deal with things on a case-by-case basis on some occasions."

For the flagstone sidewalks, especially in the first area that Denver Public Works is concentrating on, property owners will want to fix those if they want to keep the flagstone.

The city can try to lift the stone, smooth out the foundation and lay it back down, but if that's not possible, the city will replace the flagstone with colored concrete.

Credit: KUSA
This sidewalk isn't as bad as the others, honestly.

If the property owner doesn't pay, Denver Public Works will likely place a lien on the home. When the home is sold, the debt will need to be paid to finish the sale.

The city has a $4 million fund to start the program. That will cover the initial costs of doing the work, prior to being reimbursed from property owners, and to provide financial assistance for those who qualify.

Here is the chart that describes who is eligible for a discount or extended payment plan based on how many people are in the household and how much money the family makes: https://bit.ly/2NWFZrp