NORTH CANTON — Residents could have a new avenue to replace or repair troublesome sidewalks.

City Council on Monday approved the second reading of legislation that would establish a sidewalk replacement program

The voluntary program would allow homeowners and their neighbors to petition the city for a replaced or repaired sidewalk and other curb or right-of-way work during a certain period of the year.

Property owners would pay half the costs of the replacement with the city picking up the remaining 50 percent. The city also would cover all engineering and survey expenses. Owners would be responsible for removing trees and removing or relocating utilities.

To qualify, the sidewalk must be on an owner-occupied residential property on an improved street (one with curbs) and must equal a minimum of 50 square-feet.

The program would let residents who to fix hazardous sidewalks meet the city halfway, said Councilman Dominic Fonte, Ward 4.

The city would package all of the sidewalk projects together to make them more efficient and cost-effective, he said.

Down the road, the project could be expanded to include grant money or to install sidewalks in new areas, he said.

Council also passed the second reading of legislation easing the requirements for building new sidewalks.

The city has three criteria it uses to determine if a new sidewalk should be built on a city street:

• A school, school facility, government recreation area or government athletic facility is on the street.

• The street has a high traffic count as determined by a traffic study or a recommendation from the chief of police or fire chief.

• The street is within the current "no transportation" zone of a school.

Currently, streets have to meet two of the three criteria. New legislation would require meeting only one.

Council Vice President Doug Foltz, Ward 1, voted against the legislation.

He emphasized that he supports sidewalks, but council needs to consider how it’s going to fund building new sidewalks.