The city of Norwalk is out with a plan to repair and repave city streets, but some homeowners fear it’s an expense they can’t afford.
Instead of paying for the project entirely with property taxes, a portion of the cost will come directly from property owners.
“This is a public road why should I have to pay for it,” says Norwalk resident Robert Stockwell.
Stockwell recently got a letter from the city of Norwalk saying he would have to pay up to $7,000 for repairs to his street, driveway, sidewalk and service lines.
While he agrees the work needs to be done, he says the cost should come entirely from property taxes.
“I`m retired, pretty much on a fixed income and where am I going to get that money from,” says Stockwell.
His neighbor Liz Dace is in the same boat.
“It`s impossible, it`s really impossible, where are we supposed to come up with this,” says Dace.
Her assessment said she owed more than five grand, money she just doesn’t have.
Residents along Holly, Happy Hallow Drive and Wakonda Drive are part of phase one of a reconstruction project to fix up Norwalk’s streets.
The Mayor says they have to act now or prices will continue to rise.
“There are issues with the infrastructure underneath the streets and at some time we have to bite the bullet and unfortunately we’ve come to that point where we can`t kick this down the road any further,” says Norwalk Mayor Tom Phillips.
Dozens of residents came to share their opposition to the imposed fee to Norwalk’s City Council Meeting Thursday night, but the council moved ahead with approving it.
The city says the residents will only be responsible for twelve to eighteen percent of the total costs of repairs the rest will come from property taxes.
Dace has lived on the street for 35 years and says this is the first time any maintenance or repairs have been done.
“There hasn`t been any attempt by the city to do anything on this street,” says Dace.
The city says that’s because of a lack of funding and reaching the limits on several already imposed taxes to residents.
“The funding from the state is rather limited, the council is reluctant to raise those rates and our $8.10 taxing authority is also at the limit also so our hands are very much tied,” says Norwalk Public Works Director Tim Hoskins.
After phase one is complete, other neighborhoods around Norwalk will also be assessed for repairs with the homeowners responsible for their portion as well.
Homeowners are not responsible for their part of the payment until the work has been complete.