Sidewalk project in limbo after state refuses to release funds

T he village will wait to complete the final phase of a sidewalk replacement project after the state found the parameters of the work to be unacceptable.
The state has asked the village to re-work the specifications of the project in order to receive grant money. Dan Williams, superintendent of public works, has tabbed the cost to re-work the plans at between $5,500 and $7,500. That money would not be reimbursed under the guidelines of the current grant and officials are trying to determine how to proceed.
Williams estimates the cost of completing the final two sections of sidewalk—West View Drive to Granville Elementary School and a section of Church Street—at approximately $35,000.
Williams said the village and town essentially have three options: It can work with the town to complete the project on its own and forego the grant; it could hire an engineer to re-work the specifications and pursue the grant money; or it could abandon the idea of repairing the sidewalks all together.
“I’m not sure which direction to go. The easiest direction is just to get it done but that’s a $17,000 hit for the village,” Williams said.
The village and town, in 2010, applied for a grant from the Glens Falls Transportation Council to install a sidewalk from the area of the Price Chopper plaza to Granville High School. Under the grant, the village and town would each pay one-third of the cost of the project and the remainder would be paid for with grant monies.
The sidewalk was initially going to be installed on the east side of Route 149 but the Department of Transportation suggested the project be done on the west side of the street because a raised sidewalk would create problems entering and exiting several businesses on the east side of the street.
The village and town agreed to the stipulations, acquired the necessary permits and approval from the local DOT office in Hudson Falls, and completed the first phase of the project, from Rite Aid to West View Drive.
The cost was approximately $16,000 and the village and town did the prep work and hired a local contractor to lay the cement.
When the village and town, however, sought reimbursement for that phase of the project, DOT refused. After seeking assistance from Senator Betty Little, officials from DOT, who had stopped communicating with the local officials, said they wanted additional paperwork and that any contractors hired to do the work needed to be approved by the agency.
“Somewhere DOT didn’t talk to each other. One said ‘you’re all set’ and the other said ‘nope’,” Rick Roberts, village clerk said.
The disparate messages from DOT have become a point of frustration among village and town officials who are now trying to decide how to proceed with the project.
“It’s nonsense. They changed the rules on us,” Trustee Dean Hyatt said.
Hyatt suggested the village and town reach out to Little to see if she could provide any assistance.
Mayor Brian LaRose indicated he was in favor of completing the project, but agreed with Hyatt that the village should draft a letter to Little.
He said the village would wait to see if Little can provide any assistance before proceeding with the project.
Williams said it doesn’t matter when the project is completed.
“It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a week from now or in November. Ideally, you’d get it done before the snow starts to fly.”

In other matters, trustees approved the Granville Engine and Hose Company to borrow $100,000 to purchase a 2014 Ford F-150 attack truck.
The total cost of the truck is $180,000 and the department will use $80,000 from its own coffers to purchase the truck. The remainder will be financed over a period of five years.
The village will not assume any liability for the truck.
Ryan Pedone, chief of the department said the truck can access areas its larger trucks cannot.
A brief public hearing was held prior to the board authorizing the purchase, but no one spoke.

Trustees also approved a $675,000 bond for a stream bank revitalization project on Mettowee River near the Slate Valley Museum.
The project will help repair damage to the river bank sustained during Tropical Storm Irene and will put in safeguards against future flooding.
Officials received Monday a permit to begin part of the project and expected additional permits to be approved this week. The village hopes to put the work out to bid sometime next week.
The money will be reimbursed by a grant.

The village accepted the resignation of Edward Ashley, a part time patrolman with the Granville Police Department. Officials expect to hire a new officer sometime during the next few weeks.

 

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