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The childhood saying goes, "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." In the city of Los Angeles, maybe it should be, "If your sidewalk has a crack, it might break the bank." You see, the City Council is pondering a move that would leave it up to home- and business-owners to repair sidewalks and driveways.
Since 1974 City Hall has taken responsibility for sidewalk and driveway repairs, but these days the city is looking at a $492 million deficit in July that is forcing the council to consider tough solutions, including layoffs. A federal grant once helped L.A. with sidewalk repair bills, and in recent years residents could pony up some of the cash to get quicker fixes.
But funds have run out, and the city would liable for repair for nearly 4,600 miles of sidewalks at a cost of $1.2 billion, according to ABC7.
The move -- which could include requiring repairs when a home is sold and transferring responsibility for fixing uprooted sidewalks to property owners -- might help the City Council avoid more politically electrified third-rails such as more layoffs.