Homeowner calls CBS4 Problem Solvers after trying for years to get city sidewalk repaired

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Marjorie Squires owns a house on the 800 block of E. 23rd Street on the city's near north side. She said she rents the house out to vacationers in Indy a couple of times each month.

"I get complaints from the guests that it's a safety hazard, that the sidewalk is a safety hazard," Squires said.

The sidewalk in front of this home needs repairs, and Squires said she has tried to get the city's department of public works to do the work for years.

"It's probably been about 8-10 years," Squires said. "When I first contacted them, they said they had it down that I needed the street, sidewalk put in, not repaired. So, evidently, they replaced those records or got rid of those records and then they gave me another case number."

A check of her case number reveals a case opened in August 2016, though Squires said it has been longer. When she called DPW, she said a man who told her he was a supervisor also said her property was "priority one" and would be fixed as soon as funds became available.

"RJ told me that funds would become available November of 2019 and that they would be contacting me," Squires said. "I haven't heard anything."

An email exchange with a DPW spokesperson confirmed the agency has heard from Squires. A December 2019 email states, "We do indeed know about this location. The Mayor’s Action Center has taken several calls related to the condition of sidewalks at this location in years past.

We are also pleased to advise that sidewalk segment rehabilitation at this location has been included in an on-call contract that DPW has recently awarded to one of our contractors. While we have yet to receive the schedule of work for the multitude of locations included in the contract scope, and winter weather conditions will likely keep work for happening in the short-term, this work is indeed under contract to be completed as soon as weather and scheduling allows."

Because Squires has tried for years to get the city to repair the sidewalk, she is a bit skeptical. But, asked for CBS4 Problem Solvers to keep checking with the city, as will she.

"I reached out to Problem Solvers because I wasn't getting any satisfaction from the Mayor's Action Center or DPW," Squires said. "It seems like I was just getting the runaround."

CBS4 Problem Solvers also asked DPW what a neighbor should do if they have a problem at their property. A DPW spokesman provided this answer: "When residents have an infrastructure issue, they should call the Mayor’s Action Center to get it on our radar.

"The issue is assessed for a possible short-term maintenance solution. If the issue is bigger than a simple maintenance fix, we prioritize the issue for a future capital project, as funding allows. In this case, funding is now available to contract the reconstruction of several higher-priority sidewalk issues that have been on our radar for a while."

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