The city of Stephenville is ready to help its residents get on more solid footing with a funding program to share the cost of improving sidewalks around town.

The city’s Planning and Building Department is starting its Sidewalk Cost Sharing Program, a voluntary project in which property owners within the city will share the cost of installing or replacing sidewalks. The program was approved by vote of the city council as part of the new budget that went into place Oct. 1.

Residential homeowners who have eligible sidewalks can apply for 50/50 split funding, with the city picking up 50 percent of the cost. The city is offering a 30/70 split with commercial properties within the city on eligible sidewalks, taking on 70 percent of the cost.

“The city of Stephenville hopes this program will encourage program participation by residents who want their sidewalk repair expedited,” Deputy City Administrator Jeremy Allen said.

A city news release states, “The city recognizes that improvements to the sidewalks around Stephenville will reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, keep pedestrians safe throughout the city, keep our city connected and accessible, improve appearance of the city and promote a healthy community.”

Allen added, “There are quite a few other cities that do the same thing. We’ve had some complaints over time. It’s something that’s been kind of on our radar.”

The city’s financial participation is limited to removal and replacement of only the portion of the sidewalk parallel to the public street, a standard-width section of sidewalk that connects to the public street, and one standard width panel of lead walk to connect the public sidewalk with the lead walk, according to the news release. The lead walk — the portion of the sidewalk that connects the public sidewalk to the house — will be the responsibility of the homeowner.

Repair of irrigation systems, replacement of sod or landscaping, leveling or replacement of soil, and repairs that are not a direct result of the sidewalk replacement project are not eligible for program-funded reimbursement, the release states.

For more information or to find out how to participate, visit the sidewalk program page online at

http://www.stephenvilletx.gov/departments/community-development/8547-2/.

Payment can be mailed, or delivered in person to: Planning and Building Department, City of Stephenville, 298 W. Washington, Stephenville, TX, 76401.

Full payment of the property owner’s share of the cost will be due upon application approval. A formal performance agreement between the city and the property owner will be required.

For sidewalks that meet the criteria, the cost will depend on the contract price at the time the formal agreement is submitted.