Baker City Park Sidewalk

Baker City Public Works crews planned to pour concrete today or Tuesday for a 95-foot section of sidewalk on the west side of Geiser-Pollman Park.

A section of heavily traveled — and bumpy — sidewalk at Geiser-Pollman Park is slated to be replaced this week.

The sidewalk is on the west side of the park, and starts just north of the Lions Club shelter.

That’s a popular spot for picnics and parties, and the sidewalk also connects to the bridge over the Powder River between the park and the Baker County Library.

The 95-foot-long section being replaced was marred by cracks and lips that constituted a tripping hazard, said Joyce Bornstedt, the city’s technical administrative supervisor.

Concrete for the new sidewalk likely will be poured today or Tuesday.

City crews did the preparatory work last week but temperatures were too chilly to pour the sidewalks.

The new sidewalk will not only be smooth, it will be thicker — 6 inches compared with 4 inches for the old section, Bornstedt said.

The thicker concrete can handle the burden of food trucks and other vehicles that drive on the sidewalk during Miners Jubilee and other events, she said.

In addition to the new sidewalk, city crews are installing a pair of metal posts at the park’s northeast entrance to prevent vehicles from entering the park there during special events.

Bornstedt said the city has designated the south side, off Madison Street, as the entry point for vehicles.

Money for the $9,000 park project comes from the city’s sidewalk fund, Bornstedt said.

Although the city stopped collecting a sidewalk fee from residents ($1 per month) and businesses ($2 per month) after it imposed a public safety fee in 2017, the city still had about $70,000 available when the current fiscal year started July 1, said Michelle Owen, public works director.

The city offers most of that money to property owners to help pay for new sidewalks, but an ordinance requires that the city use at least 25% on projects at public sites such as the park.

The city will continue to offer money to property owners, and use some for public projects, until the fund is empty.

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