Inspection and Repair FAQ

Why was the sidewalk painted with pink paint?

The City Engineering Division inspects sidewalk for safety defects in response to citizen complaint, reported injury, or scheduled inspection areas of the city. 

What does the paint marking on the sidewalk mean?

The edges of trip hazards are painted to visually alert pedestrians to the defect and reduce the chance for a fall. The sidewalk panel(s) will be marked for repair with dots on the opposing corners of the panel or with arrows used to mark the limits of replacement for multi-panel replacement areas. 

At a street intersection, if the corner panel or pedestrian ramps are marked, who will pay for that?

The pedestrian ramps, including the corner panel at a street intersection, are the responsibility of the City. The City will repair the pedestrian ramp area at no cost to the property owner. 

Can the cost of sidewalk repair be added to the property taxes?

If the City completes the sidewalk repair, the property owner will receive an invoice after the work is done and the council approves a Resolution of Assessment. If the invoice is not paid within 30 days, the amount will be assessed to the property and interest will be added to the total. Once a year, normally in October or November, all unpaid invoices are referred to the City Council for collection though property tax assessment. For sidewalk replacement, the period of time that this assessment will run on the property taxes is five years. 

How much will it cost if the City dies the work?

Property owners can call the Engineering Division at 605-367-8601 for a square foot estimate of the sidewalk repair. 


How does the city cost compare with private contractors?

The City would prefer the sidewalk replacement work be completed by private contractors and recommends that property owners use the private contractors whenever possible. It may not be economical for property owners to attract private contractors to small sidewalk replacement jobs. Because the City’s rates are set based on the area of the sidewalk replacement, the property owner can usually obtain a lower price from a private contractor if the job is larger. The City rate could be lower than the private contractor rate for small jobs. The job size at which the private contractors will charge less is dependent on several factors including “how busy the sidewalk contractor is.”

Will the City contractor replace sidewalk that is not marked?

The City sidewalk replacement contract will only replace the sidewalk panels that were marked and typically will not replace additional sidewalk panels unless deemed necessary by the sidewalk inspector. Driveway approach, service walk or concrete on private property will not be replaced by the City. 

Who can do the sidewalk repair work?

The property owner can replace the sidewalk. Property owners that consider completing their own sidewalk should be aware that concrete work is difficult to complete properly, and the City holds the property owner’s workmanship to the same quality standards to which contractors are held. The property owner can hire a bonded and insured sidewalk contractor or have the City complete the work. Any individuals paid by the property owner for sidewalk replacement are contractors and therefore must be bonded and insured with the City.   

Where do I find a contractor?

The yellow pages or search engines can be used as a resource in contacting “Concrete Contractors.” Ask if they have bond and insurance filed with the City. Ask for references. Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations. If you are unsure if a contractor has a current bond and insurance, call 605-367-8601. (Note: The City will not specifically recommend a contractor.)   

Bonded Contractor List (PDF)


Who gets the permit?

The person/contractor doing the work obtains the permit. If a contractor is hired, they must obtain the permit. If the property owner will do the work themselves, they must obtain the permit. Permits are obtained at the City Engineering Division for $15. Applicant shall provide address of the property, the name of the person or contractor doing the sidewalk construction, and the approximate lineal foot of sidewalk to be repaired. 


What if a tree root lifted the sidewalk?

Any lifted sidewalk needs to be replaced. The sidewalk replacement process requires the cutting and grinding of tree roots to a depth of 12 inches below the bottom of the sidewalk to allow for new root growth. The property owner is responsible for the sidewalk replacement for sidewalks raised by trees roots. 

Is mudjacking permitted?

Mudjacking is allowed for correction of certain defects, such as a settled panel. It is not recommended if damage is being caused by a tree root. If mudjacking is unsuccessful, the sidewalk must be replaced. A permit and inspection are still needed if sidewalk defects are corrected using mudjacking.

Is grinding/cutting permitted?

Grinding/cutting is allowed for correction of certain defects, such as trip hazard removal. Grinding of trip hazards with a vertical displacement over 1 1/4 inches is not allowed. Trip hazards shall be removed by cutting a slope that is less than the ADA compliant slope for a ramp (8.33%.) (Example: a panel which is raised 1 inch, the grinding shall extend 12 inches onto the raised panel.) Slope shall be planar and smooth with no surface irregularities. Grinding is not allowed if damage is caused by a tree root. If grinding/cutting is unsuccessful, the sidewalk must be replaced. A permit and inspection are still needed if sidewalk defects are corrected using grinding/cutting.

Can property owners mix their own concrete?

No. Only City-approved ready-mix may be used for sidewalk replacement. Ready-mix concrete is required to ensure that adequate strength and durability are achieved.