May 15, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Skaneateles Village Board of Trustees has decided not to pave the pedestrian walkway in the Prentiss Drive subdivision and instead to restore it to a crushed gravel appearance, closing an issue that has caused much friction between the neighborhood residents and the village in recent months.
“We cannot recommend that the pedestrian pathway be paved … even though we are satisfied that the village has the legal right to install a sidewalk,” Trustee Mary Sennett read from a prepared statement at the board’s May 10 meeting.
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 crushed stone and gravel 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, in deciding to restore the path in 2012, was urged by some neighborhood residents to make the path a paved sidewalk rather than keep it as crushed stone and gravel. This raised the ire of neighbors who wanted to keep it a path rather than a sidewalk, and what started as a disagreement between the village 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 reached such a pitch that the board held a public hearing on April 26 to discuss the matter. That hearing lasted one hour and heard opinions from numerous residents on both sides of the issue.
After numerous weeks of public input and consideration, the trustees decided they could not “in good conscience” recommend a paved sidewalk. Instead, they will restore the path to its original state of crushed stone and gravel with compaction. “Doing so should provide a path that will be attractive and will be functional at least three seasons of the year,” Sennett said.
Also at the meeting:
—The board approved the SKARTS fourth free concert in Clift Park from 8 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, with the Mere Mortals.
—Mayor Marty Hubbard announced that the Lakeview House disagreement was settled “amicably” this past Monday and is over. The disagreement concerned changes to the Lakeview House architecture made by the owner that deviated from the original plans.
—The board accepted the resignation of Historic Landmarks Preservation Committee Chair Charles Williams. Williams resigned during a May 7 meeting regarding the Lakeview House issue due to his disagreement with the village’s position in the matter.
—Police Chief Lloyd Perkins announced that the village has received the check for its $25,000 grant from the State Division of Criminal Services for the new police car that was purchased last year.
—The board approved a request for Endurance Monster to hold a one-mile charity run at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 15 in Austin Park, beginning in the YMCA parking lot. The run was originally requested to be run through the village streets around the Endurance Monster shop on Fennell Street, but the trustees asked the retailer to reroute the race to avoid the closure of village streets.
—The board approved the recommendation of the Village Municipal Board to convert a portion of the electrical lines along Fennell Street from overhead to underground. The main purpose of this action is to remove the electrical pole at the entrance to the old fire station so it does not obstruct the eventual reconstruction of the space for the new village hall.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.