By Bill Parry
State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced new legislation on damaged sidewalk repair Monday in East Elmhurst. Their bill will shift the burden of paying for damaged sidewalks away from property owners and hold the city accountable.
“Oftentimes, homeowners are not responsible for damage to sidewalks in front of their homes, however,are forced to pay massive fines for repairs,” DenDekker said. “This is unfair to the hardworking taxpayers of New York City, and we would like to make a change. That is why we have introduced new legislation regarding sidewalk repair to protect homeowners, small business owners and non-profits.”
DenDekker said the current policy is most harmful to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“The fines for these repairs often run in the thousands of dollars,” he said. “This is an absolutely devastating fine for a senior citizen on a fixed income or a working class New Yorker. This administration has placed a huge amount of emphasis on income inequality, and this bill will allow the city to ease an undue burden.”
The state Legislature heads back to Albany in January, where the bill will be introduced. State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) will co-sponsor the bill in the Senate.
“City streets belong to the city,” Peralta said. “It is logical and fair that the city pays for the damage caused by their own trees. Sidewalk repairs are costly repairs and homeowners are unreasonably forced to pick up the tab.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr