Sidewalks back on agenda for the Abilene City Council

Proposed optional sidewalks in new neighborhoods raising concerns

ABILENE, Texas - Sidewalks are back on the agenda for the Abilene City Council.

The council will take a look at proposed amendments to the sidewalk ordinance.

The biggest amendment in question is making sidewalks optional in new, residential subdivisions.

The sidewalk option is questionable because history has shown that developers typically choose not to build sidewalks in order to avoid extra costs.

"The downside to that is any future requirement or future desire to have sidewalks in those subdivisions, the cost of that would then be placed upon the taxpayers of the community to install those at a later date," said Abilene City Manager Larry Gilley.

If the City Council doesn't adopt the recommendation as is on Thursday, it goes back to Planning and Zoning for more work.

If the recommendation is adopted, the item will go to a public hearing on March 27.

The council will also discuss the need for new emergency communications equipment.

The current system is in need for a major software upgrade. Also, the radios that are currently being used are nearing the end of their life cycle.

Additionally, federal and state regulations continue to evolve at a fast pace and constantly change public safety standards.

"Because of outdated technology and changes that we've seen in technology, we need to look at a process for updating our public safety communications systems," Gilley said.

KTXS will be at the City Council meeting on Thursday and will bring you all the facts on any decisions made.

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