On Wednesday, Aug. 17, both the Cazenovia Village and Town Boards called special meetings to discuss construction on Emory Avenue.
A resolution, titled “Intermunicipal Agreement and Temporary License for Parkland Maintenance and Improvements between the Town of Cazenovia and the Village of Cazenovia” was passed by both boards, allowing a 150-foot long, 3-foot wide portion of the green opposite the high school to be paved as part of the construction project.
“A big part of this plan, aside from repairing Emory Avenue, has been to enhance and protect the green,” said Village of Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “We need more space to make the road safer for students and safer for drivers. As it stands, it is just too tight.”
As construction began on Emory Avenue in late July, engineers had planned to make the roadway wide enough for three lanes. Last week, as the project neared completion, Wheeler said Cazenovia Central School District Transportation Supervisor Karen Cowherd observed that the street looked too narrow.
The project’s plans called for three, one-way car lanes on the western most portion of Emory Avenue.
The northern side of the street, closest to the high school, will be pickup/drop-off lane for students and parents, the southern side of the street would include about eight all-day parking spots and the center lane would be designated for thru traffic.
After parking three village-owned trucks side by side on the street, officials noted it was just barely wide enough for three lanes.
Wheeler and the village board then approached the town councilors to request usage of the 450-square-foot strip of the historic green.
During the town board meeting Councilor Zupan argued against the request, and asked the town board to carefully consider the agreement. “This is town property on the historic register and we have a duty to protect it. I think we should stop to really consider the situation and all possible alternatives before making any decisions,” he said.
Wheeler said the village had considered asking the school district for the three feet on the northern side of the street, however granite curbs had already been installed and removal would increase costs as well as further delay completion of the project.
The green was the venue for many training exercises by the town militia in preparation for the War of 1812. Recently, it was utilized by the Cazenovia Police Department for mock DWI scenarios.
After discussion amongst the board and audience members, the town board approved the resolution. A layer of pavement was then laid over the three-foot-wide strip.
Construction is expected to conclude at the start of the 2011-12 school year.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.