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Babylon eyes changes to sidewalk repair code

Babylon Town Hall, as seen on Dec. 14,

Babylon Town Hall, as seen on Dec. 14, 2011, at 200 East Sunrise Hwy. in Lindenhurst. Credit: Carl Corry

The Town of Babylon will hold a public hearing next month on a change to town code intended to clarify responsibility for sidewalk maintenance.

The current town code for sidewalk repair states that the town board “may, from time to time, by resolution require the repair of sidewalks along streets, roads, highways and parkways” in the town “at the expense of the abutting owners or otherwise upon such notice and pursuant to the authority or requirements of” state town law.

Town spokesman Tim Ruggeri said some residents were confused by the existing law and asked the town for clarification. Ruggeri said the town decided to make it clear that it is the property owner’s responsibility to keep “a sidewalk safe and in good repair.” The exception, he said, is if the town is responsible for damaging a sidewalk, in which case it is the town’s responsibility.

The proposed change to the code would now state that “each owner, lessor, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person in charge of any property within the Town, shall keep the sidewalk in front of or abutting the lot, house, or building, in good and safe repair and shall maintain and repair the sidewalk adjoining his property.” According to the code, such parties are also “liable for any injury or damage to person or property by reason of the omission, failure or neglect to repair or maintain such sidewalk in a safe condition.”

The hearing will be held June 19 at 3:30 p.m. at Babylon Town Hall.

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