Woman fights to protect homeowners from paying for broken sidewalks

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ATLANTA - Atlanta homeowners are on the hook for sidewalk repairs, which can cost thousands of dollars. But some city leaders want to change that.
 

Channel 2’s John Bachman found out why supporters said the current city policy is unfair and the city should pay for its sidewalks.
 
"I've lived on this street for 37 years and this keeps getting worse and worse,” said Sally Flocks, who is the head of PEDS.
 
Flocks got tired of tripping on broken sidewalks, so she's been fighting for pedestrians since.  But now she's teaming up with a city council woman fighting for homeowners who are supposed to pay to repair these sidewalks.
 
“The average cost, when they try to enforce it, last year was $1,600 per property. A lot of people can't come up with that,” Flocks said.
 
Flocks said it's expensive and it's unfair.
 
"We have sidewalks on one side of the street, people on other side didn't have to pay a dime. All the burden was on one side,” flocks said.
 
She also said it's rarely enforced, which creates another problem.
 
"Elected officials could say we don't need to budget for this because property owners are responsible for paying for it. But if they don't want that enforced, what we were getting was no repairs,” Flocks said.
 
Atlanta city councilwoman Mary Norwood said recently the city discussed tripling the cost it charged homeowners to repair sidewalks. 
 
She's proposing getting rid of the policy all together.  The next challenge, she said, will be finding a way to actually pay to fix a sidewalk repair backlog that's more than $200 million.
 
"The city will devise a plan to address sidewalks all across the city that is more fair," Norwood said.
 
City leaders are working on a plan to chip away at that backlog.