Bellaire publishes fiscal assessment of sidewalk charter amendments

The city of Bellaire has published a financial assessment of sidewalk charter amendments. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
The city of Bellaire has published a financial assessment of sidewalk charter amendments. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of Bellaire has published a financial assessment of sidewalk charter amendments. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

Editor's note: The article was updated to improve clarity and added missing information about the fiscal impacts listed on the ballot measures.

The city of Bellaire’s financial assessment of the proposed sidewalk charter amendments suggests they could add up to $17.65 million in construction and planning costs for potential projects—but the estimates vary widely.

The estimates were developed on a block-by-block basis by the city engineer, which the city then multiplied across its inventory of sidewalks to estimate a potential citywide effect. The high-end cost estimate would only be realized if all propositions pass and if all of Bellaire’s 547 incomplete sidewalk blocks were outfitted with sidewalks on both sides of the street, though no current plans call for that scale of work.

“Estimating the anticipated fiscal impacts of the three proposed charter amendments isn’t all that simple,” Bellaire Mayor Andrew Friedberg wrote in a blog post announcing the release of the report Oct. 13. “I’m sure there are countless other scenarios and variations that could come up that haven’t been thought of or addressed.”

Bellaire voters will only see the per-block cost estimate when they vote on the propositions. Early voting began Oct. 13.


In the assessment of Proposition A, which would require six-month notice of a sidewalk project, including design details and a new hydrological study requirement, the city engineer referred to project costs from recent bond-funded contracts. The engineer's assessment determined the cost of lost design fees for sidewalks would be $1,975-$5,025 per block, or up to about $2.75 million if applied citywide.

However, "if design costs were not lost, the fiscal impacts for design would be $0,” the city assessment reads.

Proposition B, which would require 50% of residents of an affected block to approve a project, is estimated to add $500 in costs per sidewalk block, or $136,000 to $273,500 citywide, to cover the mailings and coordination with residents and property owners.

Meanwhile, estimates for Proposition C’s citywide effect range from $1.22 million to $11.49 million, accounting for additional costs that may be incurred “if the decision were to be made to address the increase in impervious cover from the addition of sidewalks, above and beyond the minimal offset requirements,” according to the report. However, on the ballot, the fiscal impact for Proposition C is listed as zero, but it also notes the potential for $4,500-$21,000 in "add on" costs per block.

The city’s fiscal impact supplement was published Oct. 13 along with the official notice of election.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


MOST RECENT

Downtown Houston Streetscape at dusk
Mayor Sylvester Turner considering curfew as 'last resort' to curb bar and club crowding

Houston fire chief Sam Peña, whose department is responsible for monitoring occupancy violations, said fire marshals have responded to over 20,000 complaints since March 18.

All proceeds from a pop-up book shop coming to Bellaire will benefit the city library. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Upcoming Bellaire pop-up book shop to benefit city library

Available at the pop-up book shop are $10 Grab Bags of Books in categories including children, young adult and adult fiction.

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Several local markets offer ways to support small businesses and artisans this holiday season. (Courtesy Pexels)
Check out these Small Business Saturday and holiday markets in Houston

Here are a few ways to support local businesses as the holiday shopping season kicks off.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

The Harris County Justice Administration Department is working to release final reports and launch pilot programs in early 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County Justice Administration Department makes headway on countywide criminal justice studies

The department is working to release the final versions of several studies and launch pilot programs with local law enforcement groups in early 2021.

Rice Village has seen business activity throughout November and beyond. (Courtesy Rice Village Management)
Rice Village updates: Business openings, closings, and relocations to know for November and beyond

Politan Row Houston, located at 2445 Times Blvd., Houston, permanently closed Nov. 13.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

"Remember, we don't want to invite COVID-19 to the dinner table," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a Nov. 23 press conference urging caution amid rising COVID-19 positivity rates. (Screenshot via ABC13)
Mayor Sylvester Turner urges caution heading into Thanksgiving holiday

Houston officials also said 333 health providers had been identified as future vaccine delivery sites.

Houston's Rice Village will be bringing an inaugural farmers market beginning Dec. 6. (Courtesy Rice Village Management Company)
Rice Village announces bimonthly farmers market coming Dec. 6

The open-air market will include more than 40 hand-selected vendors.