23 May 2010

Extortion

I never thought I'd be so happy to be extorted. Dave Letterman sure didn't make it seem like fun. In our case, it was the city demanding that we put in a sidewalk on our property. We applied for a waiver, but they said no (extortionists aren't really know for their reasonableness). The sidewalk was going to cost almost $3,000...which might make some sense if it actually served a purpose, but in our case (with none of our neighbors having sidewalks) it would be a useless Sidewalk to Nowhere. We had the option to buy our way out of this requirement, but at $50/linear foot for a 62' long sidewalk, that was going to cost even more than putting in the sidewalk. Eventually, though, we got so frustrated with the challenges the sidewalk would present (how to get it installed in time, what to do with the little strip of yard between the sidewalk and the street, etc.) that we decided to explore the sidewalk waiver further. So glad we did -- since R's last job they've brought the cost down to $30/linear foot, or about $1860. I never expected that being scammed out of almost $2,000 would feel so good, yet I was thrilled to write that check to the city last week. One step closer to moving in!

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