ST. CLOUD - A plan to write sidewalk installation into the St. Cloud city ordinance brought passionate pleas from people on both sides of the issue.

Nearly 20 people spoke on the issue during this (Monday) evening's St. Cloud city council meeting.  Most of those in favor of the sidewalk ordinance were doctors and other medical professionals who touted health issues.  However, one resident against it wasn't buying their arguement.

Those oppose to the ordinance change cited concerns about a loss of trees, and having to shovel snow in the winter.

The council narrowly approved the ordinance change 4-3. Council member John Libert says it's a good move. But, council member Jeff Johnson says the ordinance change puts too much control in the hands of the city. George Hontos and Nancy Gohman also voted no.

It means sidewalk installation will now be required during any road installation or improvement projects.  Up until now it's been a part of the city's policy, but it wasn't written into the city's ordinance.  City staff say residents will still have the option to petition to stop a sidewalk from being installed.

When new sidewalks are installed in residential neighborhoods, or if they are being reconstructed, the cost will not be assessed to the property owners.