ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) - Royal Oak homeowners protest sidewalk bills
Some Royal Oak homeowners being forced to foot an astronomical bill for sidewalks are fighting back.
They say they feel like they're being duped by the city, officially ordered in a meeting Monday to pay thousands of dollars for sidewalks they don't want.
Mike Skinner says his bill was around $5,000.
He' s one of the lucky ones -- dozens of others have to pay more, as much as $10,000.
"After the meeting everyone just looked at what the council did, and they really didn't think that they took into consideration what we were thinking so we're getting together and talking about some legal action," Skinner said.
A growing group of concerned homeowners are in the process of interviewing attorneys to look into the city's decision, planning to hire one next week.
They've created a GoFundMe account to raise money for legal fees.
"They haven't shown us the facts that they can actually have the right to do this. We don't find anywhere in the city charter where they can tell us to have sidewalks," Skinner said.
City leaders claim they do have the right, but have not been transparent about the research which they claim lead them to decide sidewalks are an absolute necessity. And even if it is proven needed, some still question if a less expensive contractor could be found to lay the sidewalk.
With many city leaders out of the office for Memorial Day weekend, Fox 2 still hasn't been able to get a hold of the city to break down of charges to explain why these bills are so high.
"I really just don't think the city council and the mayor have done a good job of evaluating the situation and listening to the people, and proving to us why there's a necessity, and we're also spending a whole lot of money on it when we don't think we have to," Skinner said.