Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Walker Street residents craft petition

Property owners on Mount Auburn's Walker Street have created a petition in their effort to have the City build a retaining wall that would correct landslide problems resulting from a burst water main at two vacant properties on Walker and a --> --> --> project on adjacent Alma Street.

The petition asks the City to build the retaining wall along approximately 566 frontage feet , to pay one-third of the cost – estimated at $600,000 or more – and to allow property owners a period of 50 years to pay back the City assessment.

A statement accompanying the petition says that it's in the interest of the City to protect its investment and tax base, and that the City can demonstrate its commitment to urban life by helping to fund the retaining wall.

"The City of Cincinnati has invested great sums of money Walker Street and the surrounding area through incentives and tax abatements," the petition says. "The residents and owners of the properties on Walker Street have also invested time and money in rehabilitating and improving their properties. Because of the risk of hillside, many of the properties on Walker Street have lost value and may not be sellable."

The petition has been sent to the office of Councilmember Roxanne Qualls, where it's being reviewed before being submitted to council.

Preliminary indications are that the City will not be able to pay one-third of the costs, and, because the City will be required to issue bonds to pay for the project and interest on those bonds would likely be folded into the total project cost, a 50-year payoff is considered unlikely.

Residents and property owners are likely to hear more from Qualls' office by the end of this week.

Previous reading on BC:
Walker Street residents assembling petition for retaining wall assessment (4/23/09)
Walker Street retaining wall closer to Council vote (4/8/09)
Resident: 'Please help us save Walker Street' (2/24/09)


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