Village residents speak out over possible change to neighborhood walkway

— Residents of the Prentiss Drive subdivision in the village came en masse to the village board meeting on Thursday, April 26, to voice their opinions over whether or not the village should pave a pedestrian walkway that connects their neighborhood to West Lake Street.

Approximately 35 people attended the meeting, which was held in the new fire station on Kane Ave. to offer a larger meeting space for the expected crowd, to make known their views on the walkway subject.

At issue was the future of a pedestrian walkway that runs through the neighborhood as a way to connect the Prentiss drive residents to West Lake Street. The walkway has been there more than 20 years, but starting about five years ago, after an electric line was installed underground, the path has become in spots a marshy collection of mud and water in warm weather.

The village is responsible for the path’s upkeep and intends to fix the drainage problem, but in its consideration of whether or not making the gravel path a concrete sidewalk, which would not only fix the drainage issue but also make the path paveable and therefore passable during the winter, it has raised the ire of numerous neighborhood residents.

The issue of the path has been ongoing for several months now, and what started as a disagreement between the town and the residents became a legal issue when residents hired a lawyer to represent their cause. Since then, the lawyers from both sides have been hashing out the issues privately and the village board has refused to discuss the subject at public meetings.

The concern and outcry has reached such a pitch lately, however, that the board decided to hold a public hearing to allow all concerned residents to voice their opinions before the trustees make their final decision.

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