City Council discuss state of sidewalks in Cortland

Cortland code enforcement division captain Roy Everett speaks at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

Cortland zoning and code enforcement officials identified more than 20 sidewalks as trip hazards in high-traffic areas of the city as part of its latest sidewalks survey.

The survey was compiled by members of the city’s Code Enforcement Division and presented in front of the Common Council Tuesday night. Code enforcement division captain Roy Everett encouraged residents to report any sidewalks they consider trip hazards.

“If they find an issue with a sidewalk, that is a violation of the property maintenance code,” he said. “We have an issue across the city with sidewalks. There is no doubt about that. We are working on it and we have made some headway. Some of the things on the survey have been fixed.”

Everett directed residents to the city’s website to report a sidewalk violation, which can be accessed here. Everett noted that residents can reach out to him via email at [email protected], or by phone at 607-745-6610.

“When I get a complaint we will investigate it,” he said.

Property owners found to be in violation of the sidewalk code will receive a notice, he said.

“We are not trying to send them to court,” he said. “They are (going to) get information on our program. This is not punitive by any means. We are just putting this on their radar.”

The city’s sidewalk program, which reimburses property owners for 50 percent of the sidewalk replacement cost, is a potential solution to the sidewalk issue.

It is highly effective,” City mayor Scott Steve said. “We can (also) tell property owners that we can put it onto their taxes and spread the cost out over the next five years.”