sidewalk construction neighborhood generic

MISSOULA - Mayor John Engen announced Friday that he's canceling a controversial sidewalk project, saying the costs to property owners weren't reasonable.

A proposed project to improve or add sidewalks in the Slant Streets neighborhood recently drew public outcry when some property owners revealed they'd be on the hook for bills nearly reaching $40,000. The Missoulian reports that about 19 property owners received bill estimates of more than $10,000.

In a press release issued Friday, Mayor Engen says: 

“If I got a letter from the City telling me I was going to be billed $40,000 for a sidewalk the day after Thanksgiving, I’d be mighty concerned... Our hard-working staff was just following our policy, but letters like that land with a thud.”

Under Missoula city code, property owners are expected to pay for the sidewalks in front of their homes.

Engen's office says that the Public Works Committee will meet to talk about better options on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

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