City of Bettendorf, Iowa

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Sidewalk Maintenance Program

Sidewalks

Maintenance Responsibility

Iowa State Law (Iowa State Code 364.12) and Bettendorf City Code (7-1-7) requires the owner of property that abuts public sidewalk to maintain the sidewalk in a safe condition. This responsibility is not limited to snow removal. It also includes the physical condition of the paved surface as well as maintenance of the boulevard areas between the sidewalk and street curb.

The adjoining property owner, not the City, is legally liable for any injuries sustained by pedestrians as a result of poorly maintained sidewalks.

Annual Sidewalk Repair Program

In 1992, the City Council of Bettendorf set forth Resolution No. 44-92, Policy Establishing Guidelines for the Repair of Sidewalks. Item number 4 of the policy requires the assessment of the expense for sidewalk repair to the property owner.

Subsequent Councils have acknowledged the financial burden these policies placed on the property owners to repair or replace defective sidewalks. Therefore, an annual sidewalk repair program was established and funded as part of the City’s annual capital improvement budget.  While the program provides sidewalk repair at no direct cost to the property owner, the sidewalk condition must meet minimum guidelines (Examples of Guidelines) as criteria for inclusion in the program.

Individual service walks to the curb or building or driveway approaches between the sidewalk and street are the responsibility of the property owner and are not included in this program.  If the sidewalk through a driveway is slated for repair and the approach and/or driveway are also in need of repairs, the property owner may hire a contractor for this work, but no reimbursement will be given. Providing a safer pedestrian passage along the length of the sidewalk is the intent of the program.

How it Works

Each year in late spring, 1/5 of the City sidewalks are inspected utilizing the policy guidelines. (Sidewalk Inspection Year Zone Map) The areas established are roughly subgroups of each ward in the City which are then revisited every 5 years. A list is compiled, a project is developed and sent out to contractors for bids. Call in requests at addresses that are outside the annual inspection zones are inspected and individually determined for inclusion in any given year’s contract.

Once a contractor is selected, sidewalks are then on a schedule to be repaired. The annual budget for the program determines the amount of sidewalks that can be repaired in any given year.

Approximately one week before repairs are to be made, the inspector will paint mark the appropriate areas and leave a notice to the property owner. 

Underground sprinkler systems or invisible fencing buried at or between the sidewalk and the street curb need to be marked by the property owner. While reasonable care is usually taken not to damage these private utilities, the City shall bear no responsibility for the maintenance or repair to any damages to these privately owned facilities (City Code 7-4A-6). The City does not have records of these utilities or their location on your property.