City should cover curb repair costs to speed up the process, Queens lawmakers say

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With homeowners getting “kicked to the curb” with expensive sidewalk replacements, local lawmakers are calling for a change to the way the city handles mandated repairs.

Councilman Barry Grodenchik and Assemblyman David Weprin are proposing the city provides a tax credit to homeowners for curb correction costs. This would allow the homeowner — should the city not begin work within 90 days of filing the complaint — to have repairs completed by a licensed contractor. Repairs would be expedited, and the city would reimburse homeowners for work done at a “reasonable cost,” the lawmakers said.

Owners of one-, two- and three-family homes are responsible for sidewalk maintenance and repairs in front of and adjacent to their properties. The city’s Department of Transportation, however, is in charge of curb and road repairs.

Weprin has introduced a bill to the New York State Assembly and Grodenchik has introduced a resolution to the City Council to effect the change.

“City homeowners are getting kicked to the curb with sidewalk repair costs,” Weprin said. “It is time that we provide homeowners with a path for responsible curb repair and sidewalk maintenance.”

Despite curbs being city property, Grodenchik said, homeowners often wait “seemingly forever” for repairs, with the DOT acknowledging that repair requests “outpace available resources.”

“This legislation — a simple fix to a longstanding problem — would allow homeowners to fix their curbs quickly in exchange for a property tax credit,” he said. “Many thanks to Assemblyman David Weprin for working in concert with me on this important issue.”

The lawmakers spoke in favor of the legislation alongside Jerry Wind of the Bellerose Hillside Civic Association and homeowner Paul Krasanoff at a press conference in Hollis Hills on Oct. 27.

The full bill can be viewed here.

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