The city of Powell, Wyoming has been working with business owners in the city to come up with a plan to fix the sidewalk damage problem downtown. The last time the city worked with the businesses on the trees and sidewalks was in 1993, when the businesses voted on a $1.5 million beautification project. At the time, the businesses also agreed to maintain the sidewalks in front of their properties.
This time, Councilman John Wetzel suggests that the city cover 75 percent of the sidewalk repair, while businesses pay 25percent. One issue still not resolved is that the city does not allow a business to decide when a tree should be taken down, even though the trees are the cause of the sidewalk damage.
When the repairs are being done, tree roots will be trimmed, some trees will be replaces, and concrete and tree grates will be repaired. The city will also be looking at root retaining systems that make roots grow down instead of out. An arborist and the city’s tree board will be consulted to decide what the right solution will be. The city is working with the business owners to determine which areas need to be repaired.
Councilmembers reiterated the importance of keeping the downtown beautiful and pedestrian friendly. “We do have a beautiful downtown,” said Councilman Floyd Young. City Administrator Zane Logan added, “And we want to keep it that way.”