by Kristin Casale
Munroe Falls -- Some residents in the northeastern part of the city with sinking sidewalks could have the damage repaired this summer.
According to City Councilmember Bob Pitz, an estimated 10 properties in the area of Hiwood Drive and other nearby streets have developed sinking sidewalks and holes in their ditches.
Pitz said the city believes the damage was caused by work performed by Summit County-hired contractors.
"The sidewalks are going into the ditches," said Pitz. "I don't want to charge the residents [for the repairs]."
Summit County Department of Environmental Services Director Dave Marquard said he is aware of the problems in the Hiwood area.
A county-hired contractor performed sewer work on some Munroe Falls properties during the summer of 2002, he said.
"What we think is that the ditches that were dug for the sewer laterals have settled and dipped," said Marquard. "If it was done under our contractor, we'll probably fix it. I just have to be sure the problem was caused by our work."
Marquard said he expects to make a determination "within a month or two."
Mayor Frank Larson said the city will perform the work at no cost to the residents if necessary, but city officials would like to be reimbursed by Summit County.
Bermont Place resident Sandy Butler said her property is among the group of residences experiencing problems.
"The yard, the ditch and the sidewalks are sinking," she said. "It's just really a mess. I don't want a Band-Aid. I want it fixed right."