How do I request stop sign(s) be installed at an intersection?
There are two ways to request the installation of stop sign(s). You can either make the request by calling Public Works at 222-3480 or you can go online to the Service Desk and enter the request by selecting the Public Works department and selecting the issue “Traffic Control & Safety”.
How much would it cost if the City performed the repair work?
If the property owner(s) elect to have the City hired contractor perform the work, you can estimate $11.40 per square foot for 4" thick sidewalk and $12.00 per square foot for 6" thick sidewalk. This is a square foot estimated cost for removal and replacement of the sidewalk panels. These prices are subject to change year to year based on material costs and the current bidding climate.
Why, and how, is this being done?
The City has a Sidewalk Improvement Program for several reasons with the most paramount being the safety of individuals walking in our community. In 1991 the City began this program with a staff member walking, each year, a different section of our community reviewing the need for, and condition of, both public and private sidewalks.
Why am I receiving two (2) mailings, one certified and one regular mail, for this project?
Iowa law requires that notifications of this type be sent by regular mail but, over the years, the City has realized the benefit of having documentation that the proper notifications were provided.
When could work start on the project or on my property in particular?
After the Public Hearing, and if the City Council formally approves this year’s Program, the City is then required to obtain bids from contractors to do the work with that process taking up to a month. The selected contractor will then start work on the project with their schedule being determined by a number of factors including the amount of work they may have, the number and location of the properties in our program and, of course, weather. Given the above, and the fact that the City, and the contractors we normally retain, do not want to cause a property owner undue hardship we will do our best to schedule construction around special or unique activities you may have planned over the next few months. If you have a particular concern or need, please contact Randy Cox of our Public Works Department at 222-3475.
How, and when, will I be billed for this work?
When the contractor has finished work on the entire project (not just on your property, but all of the properties in this year’s program) the City will send you a notification of the Final Assessed Amount. You can anticipate receiving that invoice during the first quarter of 2015. At that time you have thirty (30) days to decide to pay all, or a portion of, the amount due. If you pay the full amount the transaction is closed and nothing will appear on your future property tax records. If the amount is for $500 or more, you may prefer to have the special assessment(s) paid in ten (10) equal annual installments plus interest on the unpaid balance. To utilize this option you do not need to do anything; the County Treasurer will include the amount due on your future property tax statements. The property owner retains the right to pay the remaining principal at any time.
What interest rate would be charged?
All of the City’s annual Sidewalk Improvement Programs, to date, have reflected a nine percent (9%) interest rate.
What happens if I sell my property either before or after I receive the final bill for this project?
If you sell your property before the final bill is received it will be up to you and the buyer to determine the best method of handling the estimated amount due. If your property is sold after the final bill is received (and you decided to pay nothing on the amount due) it will again be up to you and the buyer to determine the best method of handling what remains to be paid.
What number should I call to obtain a list of other property owners in the area who require sidewalk repair?
You should call Public Works at 222-3480 for a list of other property owners in your area that require sidewalk repair.
Where can I get a copy of the West Des Moines Development Guide?
The State Code of Iowa (Chapter 364.12 and 364.13) and City Code places on each property owner is the responsibility for repair and maintenance of sidewalks. More important, however, is the fact that courts have held property owners responsible for injuries when people have fallen on defective sidewalks.
Are there advantages to getting my own contractor for the sidewalk program?
There may be, especially if the Contractor is doing other work in the area.
Do I need a permit to do work on my sidewalk?
Yes, the permit is available at the Department of Public Works, 560 S. 16th Street. The permit process notifies the City when the work is to be performed, by whom, and allows for inspection prior to pouring concrete for your protection. The permit fees have been waived for this project.
Will the City remove a street tree that is damaging my sidewalk?
If the tree that is causing the damage is in the public Right-of-Way, the City will remove the tree if it is dead or diseased, or trim the necessary tree roots. Please contact us as far in advance as you can, so we can properly schedule the work.
Can I use sack Crete or mix my own concrete for sidewalk replacement?
No. All concrete used for sidewalk replacement must be a commercially produced IDOT Type C mix design.
What is the thickness of the sidewalk supposed to be?”
The sidewalk is to be 4” thick, except through drives where it is to be 6” thick and separated by 1/2” expansion on all sides but the street side where 1” of expansion is to be used.
Can I use caulking or sealant to repair sidewalk cracks?
(Type D) Caulking or sealant is not permitted to repair cracks. Cracked sidewalks must be replaced.
Can I use patching material to repair spawled areas (Type E)?
Patching material is not allowed for spawled sidewalks.
Can I mud jack or raise (Type A) or (Type C) sidewalk repairs?
Mud jacking is permitted for these repairs unless the area of repair is also cracked (Type D) or spawled (Type E), then it must be replaced. Raised sidewalks must be properly supported with stable suitable fill material. No grinding of Type A will be permitted.
Who is responsible for repairing my damaged irrigation system?
Any irrigation lines that are in the public right of way are subject to damage and are the responsibility of the homeowner to repair. These lines are not part of the Iowa One Call System and are often times in direct conflict with the necessary work.
I received notice that my sidewalk needs repaired or replaced. What is required?
The enclosed Sidewalk Repair Survey Form and City Standards for Defective Sidewalks sheet show the work needed, the location of the work, and the specific reason for repair. Please call 222-3480 and ask for the Engineering Division - Construction Observation if you need assistance interpreting the work required on the sidewalk.
How can I tell if a property is in the floodplain?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) produces the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) which are available on their website.
How close to the property line can I put an addition to my house?
In all residential zoning districts, except Residential Estates, all accessory structures (all buildings not attached to the house) can not exceed 10% of the total lot area or no greater than 1000 square feet, whichever is more restrictive. There is no limit to the size of attached garages, however, they must follow the same setback requirements as the house.