City Sidewalk Crackdown On Hold After Seniors Complain

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(Memphis) "I had tears in my eyes like I have now and I was cursing. It don't make no sense," North Memphis homeowner Mattie Lambert said.

She couldn't believe her eyes when she saw what the city says it will cost to fix the cracked sidewalks in front of her North Memphis home.

"$1,759.67," Lambert said.

She only makes $800 a month.

"I can't pay it. My house note is $693," she said.

She is one of many people who got mail shock when the city sent notices to people about broken and cracked sidewalks.

Along with the notices, some got warrants to show up in court, get their sidewalks fixed, or possibly face a lien on their property.

"$1,124.23," said Charles Howard, who got a warrant too.

He wonders if the city is passing the buck.

"As taxpayers of the city and county I think it's their responsibility," Howard said.

"These people were crying, headaches. We have people in depression," Vicky Moore with Youth United with Senior Citizens said.

She says hundreds of seniors have called her, scared of the warrants and the thought of possibly losing their homes.

"People are already being taxed enough. This is an additional tax, a hardship that they are placing on senior citizens," Moore said.

Moore's organization went to court and before City Council with the seniors.

They got a 60-day moratorium on the sidewalk enforcement and lukewarm promises that council members would look for funding to help those who can't pay for sidewalk repairs, but there are no promises.

"These sidewalks are on city property. They are connected to city streets. We want the city to take responsibility for what they are responsible for," said Moore.

They are getting some action. The city sent us a response, saying, "The 60-day moratorium will allow the City Council to get more information from the Mayor's office about how this ordinance will be enforced."

The city says the estimated cost of most sidewalk repairs mailed out by the city is $6.10 per square foot and in many cases, the property owner's total cost is around $150.

The two estimates we saw were more than a thousand dollars.


  • Nick

    The sidewalks in Memphis typically fall in the public right of way. Each land owner should read the deed for their property. Most deeds reference the back of walk as the property line. With the back of walk as line the city/county is responsible for sidewalks..

  • Ester

    NO!! we should not be required to pay for broken/cracked sidewalks. Three years ago repairs by the city on my street left the sidewalk in from of my home cracked and torn from large equipment parked and used to turn around.. I asked that it be repaired –nothing. We are not money machines,

    • Virgil

      They are Black, they expect everything for free and don’t want to pay for anything, sidewalks included.

  • Skeptic

    The sidewalks are both the city’s AND property owners responsibility. If the city does work that requires them to tear out the sidewalk they have to replace it. General wear and tear is the property owners responsibility. Leave the sidewalk in front of your home damaged and someone falls because of the condition, you can be sued and lose. It has happen to my family. The only time I’ve seen the city take care of the sidewalk is when they come in and replace them on the whole block.

  • Thomas H. Evans

    So here is the question, who put the side walks in? I believe the City /County put the side walks in, and I don’t recall them asking any home owner exactly where they want them or how big. Then when they want to come out and take “Ten Feet” of your property, I don’t recall them asking your permission, why, because they see that as their property; so then, why all of a sudden is it the responsibility of the property owner to maintain these side walks. This is “Public Property,” other wise we should be able to decide who will walk on our (my) side walk. I guess next we will be responsible for maintaining the “Pot Holes throughout the ragged city. We by far have the worse group of City Officials down at our city hall, and that includes our mayor. If they can’t come up with a way to maintain our city the way it should be from the taxes we pay, then they come up with a way for us, the tax payer, to then pay for it. The problem is we don’t have a person on our City Council or our Mayor who has any business experience; name one! I would take the entire bunch to court over this; just let them try and take my property because they have failed the citizens of Memphis in maintaining our streets and sidewalks, Idiots!

  • JohnSisreallyaTranny

    You get what you vote for. M o n k e e e e business is what you have running the city.

  • JohnSisreallyaTranny

    Quit voting black just cuz you are black. Aren’t you tired of what’s going on. It will be the same as you keep voting black. Like they say if you keep
    Doing the same thing over and expect different results, that’s called insanity. The truth hurts and with that being said y’all are insane to keep voting the same riff raff in.

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