Windsor Heights sidewalk proposals on docket tonight

WINDSOR HEIGHTS - How much the city will pay for sidewalks will be discussed at the Windsor Heights City Council meeting Monday night.

The public is invited to give its opinion about two bidders who want to pave new sidewalks, as mandated by a new ordinance passed a few months ago.

The proposed plan includes sidewalk improvements to 63rd Street, 64th Street, Del Matro Avenue, and Northwest Drive. Construction costs are coming in at about $823,000. Two bids for paving the sidewalks are on the discussion list tonight. They include Kingston Services and Hawkeye Paving. Both of their proposed costs are more than $1 million.

"The populous of Windsor Heights is united in it's opposition to a single city council that is determined to proceed what's wrong headed," says Windsor Heights resident, Frank Departelo. "The single-minded quest to install sidewalks. Sidewalks that no one wants."
 
While the discussion was mostly against the project, there were some back and forth debates about if the new sidewalks could actually improve the safety of the community. 
 
"Not only our children, but postal carriers, or people who are using wheelchairs," says Shelley Schuster of Windsor Heights. "Everyone needs to have a reasonable access to get around safely."
 
Chris White of Windsor Heights disagrees. "I am a handicap disabled individual," says White. "I feel just safe as I need to feel. Whenever I go out to walk. I live on a street that has no sidewalk. We've never had a sidewalk. I've lived here for 45 years. We've never missed not having a sidewalk."
 
Also brought up in the meeting was if the million dollar project is really needed when the city faces other problems. 
 
"To spend a million dollars for two sidewalks, when our streets have enormous pot holes in them and our infrastructure as many people have told you is crumbling," says Cynthia McCaw. "We've got water mains that are going to break. We have orangeburg sewers. What are you thinking is all I can say. What are you thinking?"
 
The million dollar price tag would be covered by every homeowner in Windsor Heights, through property taxes. For some people, the increase would be too much to afford. 
 
"The increases in taxation will threaten the ability of many older residents to stay in their homes," says Julia Hinders of Windsor Heights.
 
The council voted to reduce sidewalk improvements on Northwest Dr. to save money. They also decided to use sod instead of seed.
 
Kingston Services Des Moines has been assigned as the project contractor. No timeline for when the project will start. 

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