Pasco County tells Port Richey woman to fix buckled sidewalk herself

Better Call Behnken

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Homeowners don’t typically fix the sidewalks in front of their homes on their own. Unless they live in Pasco County.

Tracey Livernois turned to Better Call Behnken for help after she said Pasco County refused to repair a buckling sidewalk in front of her home on Bramblewood Drive in Port Richey. She said she was stunned when the county said it was her responsibility to fix it herself.

“I don’t even know where to begin to fix a side walk,” she said.

Estimates from private companies were more than $800, Livernois said. Additionally, she was told to get a permit and site plan through the county, which amounted to more money.

She had a better idea: Better Call Behnken.

County officials told Investigative Reporter Shannon Behnken that they don’t maintain sidewalks that weren’t constructed by the county.

Bramblewood is in the district of Commissioner Mike Wells. When reached by Better Call Behnken, he said he went out to see the sidewalk that same night.

“This is the worst I have ever seen,” Wells said, expressing concerns for ADA compliance.

He said county staff pointed to an ordinance from the 1970s.

“This is a policy from the 70s,” Wells said. “I was 4 years old, I mean let’s make this right. The bottom line is if we maintain the road, it only makes sense that we maintain the sidewalk too.”

Wells says the sidewalk should be repaired by county staff this week, and then he will follow up with fellow commissioners about clarifying the local ordinance so other homeowners don’t run into the same problem.

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