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Village looking to extend Fenner Street sidewalks to athletic fields

— After a false start three years ago, the village of Cazenovia is once again looking the possibility of extending the Fenner Street sidewalk from where it currently ends between Naomi Drive and Carriage Lane to the Sean M. Googin Memorial Sports Complex.

The village and town boards held a joint meeting on the issue recently and the Cazenovia Area Community Development Association has submitted an application for state grant funding to pay for the project.

“If we don’t get the grant we’ll probably wait and apply again next year,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “If the grant is approved we probably won’t hear until fall, which means we’ll have all winter for detailed planning and engineering and we’d hope to break ground next spring.”

The idea for an extended Fenner Street sidewalk down to the athletic fields was previously broached about three years ago, when the village, town and school district agreed on the positive community benefit of such a project, held a joint meeting and commissioned an engineering study of how best to achieve the work.

That study determined — and village and town officials still agree — it is best to continue the sidewalk where it currently ends, go up past the village’s Evergreen Cemetery (which impacts mostly village land) and then continue to a safe sight distance to cross Fenner Street into the field parking lot at the driveway entrance, Wheeler said.

The project was not pursued at that time because there was no funding available to undertake it.

The state Department of Transportation grant the village is seeking for funding is “extremely competitive” this year, and although the Fenner Street project should receive a high score it is far from certain the village will win the funding, said Lauren Lines, CACDA’s executive director, who is working on the funding application for the village.

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