Livingston to Offer Residents Chance to 'Buy In' to Sidewalk Program; Council Gets Procedures Manual for Affordable Housing Rehabilitation

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LIVINGSTON, NJ—Township residents will soon be offered the chance to use the buying power of the Livingston government to help them obtain more reasonable rates to have the sidewalks in front of their homes replaced.

At Monday’s conference meeting of the Livingston Township Council Township Manager Michele Meade said the township administration is exploring a number of options whereby homeowners will be able to obtain better rates on sidewalk rehabilitation by working through the township’s program.

Because the township contracts out a large amount of sidewalk projects for the property it owns, Meade noted, it is able to obtain a better price from contractors than that paid by individual homeowners.

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The township will offer Livingston homeowners the chance to have sidewalks in front of their homes replaced at the same time the township is having work done in their area and thus the residents will be able to take advantage of the more favorable contractor rates offered to the township, the manager noted.

While the administration and council still are working out the details of the program, according to Meade, they are considering giving first preference to homes in areas where the Livingston Board of Education is looking to make safer pathways to schools by improving sidewalks.

One of the main aims of the sidewalk program is to replace asphalt sidewalks with more preferable concrete walkways.

The township last month announced its town-wide Sidewalk Reconstruction Initiative aimed at improving the “walkability” of the township by upgrading the aesthetics of residential neighborhoods and encouraging resident to walk more in order to promote healthier living.

Assistant Township Engineer Jeannette Harduby announced at that time, in compliance with Americans with Disability Act standards, 2600 square yards of asphalt sidewalks would be reconstructed of concrete with barrier-free ramps and driveway aprons where needed.

Among streets included in that program are North and South Livingston Avenue, Hillside Avenue, North Hillside Avenue and Northfield Road.

In addition to being ADA compliant, the reconstructed sidewalks will also comply with a township ordinance enacted in 2010 that requires new and reconstructed sidewalks to be concrete.

The council on May 7 approved a contract with AIS Associates of Hillside at a project cost of approximately $125,012 for the reconstruction program on township-owned sidewalks. The funding will come from the township’s capital budget.

On another matter at Monday’s meeting, council members received copies of the policies and procedures manual for the affordable home improvement program.

According to Township Attorney Sharon L. Weiner, money from the township’s affordable housing trust fund, accumulated from developer fees under the state affordable housing program, will be used to offer housing rehabilitation to Livingston homeowners whose income qualifies them for the program.

On June 4 the council awarded a $26,000 contract to Community Grants, Planning and Housing to provide profession housing rehabilitation services in connection with the program.

Also at the meeting, governing body members were told that the commercial area of the residential-commercial Town Center development has met all completion standards required by township planning and zoning officials.

Therefore, a certificate of completion for the project will be up for a vote at the council’s Monday, May 25, regular meeting.

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