I am one of many Riverside homeowners patiently waiting for sidewalk replacement at my home; I have been told funding for sidewalk replacement is inadequate to replace all identified defective sidewalk in the village. So why, then, is the village board even considering a return to a more expensive exposed aggregate material when the sidewalk replacement budget is insufficient to address identified defective sidewalk? 

A 30-40% more expensive exposed aggregate material is hardly “incremental,” and suggests irrational financial decision making. Movement to a more expensive material will only reduce the rate of sidewalk replacement within the village, assuming the budget for sidewalk replacement remains deficient. A more conservative cost approach is prudent, necessary and required in this time of austere budget shortfalls and continued tax increases. 

I strongly support trustees Ballerine and Hamilton, voices of reason, who are not only representing the interests of cost-conscious Riverside residents but also have suggested the linseed oil treatment to mitigate the effects of returning to a broom-finished concrete sidewalk material. Their proposed solution makes sense and should be approved. 

I am aghast that the village board is even considering returning to a more expensive sidewalk replacement program. Defective and deteriorating sidewalk awaiting replacement is also an eyesore and contributes to the undesired patchwork effect, also taking away from the character of the village. Furthermore, focusing on how sidewalk looks, while overlooking other more pressing repairs (such as patched roads) is missing the big picture. 

Instead, I challenge the village board to implement a cost-benefit-analysis approach to this proposed sidewalk ordinance. The village board should be finding ways to streamline replacement of deteriorating sidewalk, not find ways to make this project more expensive.  

Voting on an ordinance that will return to a more expensive sidewalk material not only exacerbates progress (sidewalk replacement) but also sends the wrong message to the residents of Riverside, that a cost-effective solution is again overshadowed by the overemphasis on what is best for the “character of the village.” 

Deborah Zuckswerth

Riverside