City Encouraging Home Improvement Through Sidewalk And Paint Rebate Programs
Published: April 12th, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

City encouraging home improvement through Sidewalk and Paint Rebate Programs Norwich DPW employees repaving sidewalks in November 2021. Property owners in the City of Norwich have the opportunity to get their sidewalks repaved through the city’s Sidewalk Program. Interest forms are available at City Hall, or by calling 607-334-1230. (Photo by Sarah Genter)

NORWICH — Homeowners in the City of Norwich are being given an incentive to improve their properties through the city's Sidewalk Program and Paint Rebate Program.

Sidewalk repaving is the responsibility of the homeowner, but the Sidewalk Program can help to offset the costs. According to City of Norwich Director of Finance Dee DuFour, the city will provide the cost of labor while the homeowner covers the cost of materials. The cost of materials to repave a four-foot wide sidewalk is $22 per linear foot.

"We have an interest form that the homeowner would contact the city to get," she said. "Then [Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent] Ed Pepe would go out to their property, and he would measure their sidewalk and find out exactly what the linear feet of their sidewalk is. And then after that, then he brings it back to the finance office and we calculate how much it is."

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To make it even easier on the homeowner, the city will also allow for the materials to be paid in installments over a three year span.

"So what the city allows them to do is pay over a three year period. So we would invoice them a third each year, and usually the payments are due in June. So you would pay a third the first year, and then we would invoice you over the next two years in June to pay that," DuFour explained.

Those with larger sidewalks or corner lots may also be eligible for an extended payment timeframe.

"Sometimes we do stretch them out. Say it’s a large sidewalk, we will go up to four or five years," said DuFour. "Say you have a huge corner lot and it’s a larger sidewalk, we do offer options too to go up to four or five years. So we do offer that too so you can extend it out a little bit more to make it more user friendly."

"I think this makes it a lot more affordable for the homeowner, if they can stretch it out over the installments," she added.

The Sidewalk Program is open to both residential and commercial properties, and there are no deadlines to apply. DuFour said residents can expect repaving to begin around July, depending on DPW's schedule for that year.

"Once we get everything set up you’ll pay your first installment, and then it kind of depends on how busy the DPW is. Because they’ll do all their preparation for street paving, they’ll do all that stuff, a lot of the park stuff. They do do that before they start the sidewalks. So, you know, you might be looking at a July timeframe before they get to the sidewalks, because they have to do all that prep work," she said.

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If too many people are on that year's list for the Sidewalk Program, and DPW has a busy schedule, some sidewalks could be pushed out to the following year. However, DuFour said they would be given priority when repaving begins that summer.

For those looking to repaint their homes, the City of Norwich is also offering their Paint Rebate Program once again for residential properties.

Individuals who paint the exterior of their homes are eligible for a $10 rebate per gallon, although council members will be voting to increase the rate to $15 per gallon at the common council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 19.

"You basically have to bring in your receipt and your dried lids, your dried paint can lids, and that is up to 20 gallons per property," said DuFour. "What you do is, you take your lids to the code enforcement office, and then they will fill out a voucher there, and then the finance office will cut your check. She’ll bring it over here and we’ll cut the check to send payment out to them."

After a homeowner turns in their lids and receipts, City of Norwich Code Enforcement will visit the property to ensure the paint was used on the exterior of the home.

"Code enforcement will usually go and just check the property, just to kind of do a little spot check to make sure it looks like it’s all been freshly painted or something, with the receipts and the dried paint lids that they’re submitting," DuFour explained.

Paint can lids and receipts can be submitted at the City of Norwich Code Enforcement Office, located at 31 East Main Street. Interest forms for the Sidewalk Program can be found at City Hall, located at One City Plaza in Norwich, or by calling 607-334-1230.