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Stewartville’s sidewalk situation

It’s back to the drawing board for City Leaders after neighbors made it clear they don’t want sidewalks.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 7:31 AM

STEWARTVILLE, Minn. – It’s back to the drawing board for the City of Stewartville on how  put sidewalks in and make residents happy.

Adding sidewalks is part of the city’s 2019 Capital Improvement Plan.

The proposed plan aims to fix aging parts of 3rd Avenue SE, 5th Street SE, and 4th Avenue SE. Specifically on 4th Ave, the project would redo the roads which were put in in the 1960s. It would also fix the water main which was put in in the 1950s and has a history of breaking. The project also would add sidewalks to the resident streets.

The city engineer is working on new designs after residents told city leaders they don’t want sidewalks at a City Council meeting earlier this month.

Dorothy Womeldorff has lived in Stewartville for over 50 years and is a resident on 4th Avenue SE. She along with other neighbors don’t want the project cutting about 13 feet into their yards, 8ft for a grass boulevard and 5ft for the actual sidewalk.

“When we've worked this long for a nice yard, we hate to have it disturbed,” Womeldorff said.

13 feet into yards on 4th Ave SE hit trees many residents have on their yards. Womeldorff also doesn’t want to have to shovel snow on the sidewalk in front of her house in winter.

“It's just a maintenance problem and being so close to our house that we're opposed to,” she said.

Stewartville wants to add the sidewalks for safety reasons. City Administrator Bill Schimmel told KIMT sidewalks make the roads safety for pedestrians, families with young kids, and seniors who may be on motorized scooters.

Schimmel said the engineer is coming up with new designs based on community feedback. One option is possibly reducing the size of the 8 ft grass boulevard to just 4 ft. The engineer plans to give its new designs to City Council by November. The council will then decide whether or not to move forward with this project.

To learn more about the project, click here.

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