TOWN BOARD Special Workshop Notes
Marion Municipal Room
August 27, 2018
A workshop of the Town Board of the Town of Marion, Wayne County, NY was held on Monday, August 27, 2018. This meeting started at 1 pm at the Marion Municipal Building.
Supervisor Deming called the meeting to order at 1pm.
PRESENT: LaVerne Bliek, Councilman
Debbie Smith, Councilwoman
Joan Fisher, Councilwoman
Ronald Lonneville, Councilman
Nick Deming, Supervisor
OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: David Doyle, MRB Group; Arthur Williams, Marion Town Attorney; Jason Schwartz, Burney & Dunigan Associates; Melissa Semple, Burney & Dunigan Associates; Monica Deyo, Town of Marion resident.
Sidewalks in the Hamlet of Marion, New York.
Supervisor Deming started the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Supervisor Deming next gave the following opening remarks.
Hi Everyone, Thank you for coming in today. This meeting was publicly advertised in the Wayne County Times and contrary to some conversations I’ve heard, everyone is absolutely welcome to be here. Many residents have rightly expressed concern over the broken state of our sidewalks and I share their concern. The purpose of this meeting is to learn about options for sidewalks in our town so we are more educated, especially since past attempts at improving our sidewalks have failed. I have spoken with residents in our hamlet about the unsafe condition of our sidewalks and I am often questioned why the town has not done anything so far. After speaking with MRB Engineering and residents, I felt the best way to move forward was to have the town board, town attorney, MRB, and our financial consultants in the same room to attempt to get on the same page. I am tired of watching families out in the road with baby strollers during rush hour, people tripping on the sidewalks and limited access for wheelchairs. In today’s meeting, I’d like to try and get an average cost per linear foot and any other pertinent information so that we can give our residents accurate information. Many municipalities, including Marion, have residents from outside the sidewalk area come in to walk. We have at least one resident that attempted to remove a section of sidewalk from their property due to liability concerns. Ultimately, this process will be decided by the taxpayers, but we as the town board should be mindful of public safety and community betterment. If the town board is in agreement, I would like to hold public informational meetings as soon as practical. With new families moving in to our town, now is especially an important time to evaluate and hopefully implement sidewalk improvements with enough public support. Properly maintained sidewalks will not only decrease liability concerns for homeowners, but also add to property values, add to our sense of community, and most of all, help keep everyone safe.
The floor was then opened up to Town Board members to make comments or to ask questions.
Councilman Lonneville, stated that most of the sidewalks on Mill Street will be replaced with the current water project. However, not all of it. Councilman Lonneville feels this is the perfect time to replace sidewalks on Mill Street. His question are – How much will it cost per section? and, when will funds be available?
Councilman Lonneville also mentioned that this was a pre-planning meeting. He feels it’s important to gather all the information before presenting it to the community.
Councilman Bliek agreed that sidewalks in Marion needed to be addressed.
Councilwoman Smith also sees a need in sidewalks but is concerned about the cost.
Councilwoman Fisher feels that sidewalks are important, however feels that cost is a problem. Her question was – Can the people of Marion afford new sidewalks? She would like a cost per section and then determine if it would be more cost effective to do the whole project than to do the project in pieces.
Supervisor Deming expressed his concern for cost as well. This is the reason he called this meeting.
Monica Deyo, town resident and former Town Supervisor, spoke up about her concerns for a sidewalk district and mentioned how difficult it was to implement water districts with petitions.
In 2012, a grant was available to replace the all the sidewalks in the hamlet. The rough cost was $1.4 million dollars. This was a grant that was made available from Senator Nozzelio and was then voted down by the residents in Marion. If this same project was to happen now, the cost would go up because of the time difference.
A question was presented about the size of the sidewalks. What size is an ADA compliant sidewalk? Dave Doyle will look into this question. If the side walks need to be bigger than they currently are, larger trees in the hamlet will need to be removed. Supervisor Deming stated, this will be a big concern with the residents.
Another question that was brought up was – should we replace all of the sidewalks or only repair the sections that needed to be repaired for safety concerns? What would the price be just for replacing a section?
Councilman Bliek recommended that the sidewalks be repaired and not replaced. He also mentioned he though the Marion Highway could do this project for less than an outside contractor.
The Sidewalks in Marion were put in sometime between the 1920’s and 1930’s. Most of these are in great need of repair. Sidewalks in Marion are the responsibility of the homeowners.
Town Attorney, Art Williams suggested that a line item be added to the budget for sidewalks. This would give the town money to repair specific sections that needed to be fixed. He also recommended a survey be done to look at the condition of the sidewalks. This would help the Town Board decide which sections were in need first.
Another suggestion was a CDBG grant. However, in order to apply for a CDBG grant, an income survey would need to be done for each resident where a sidewalk is located.
Dave Doyle offered to look into a CFA (part of CDBG) to see if sidewalks were eligible.
Councilwoman Smith suggested holding a public meeting to find out if the residents would like to see a sidewalk project before the board moves forward.
Supervisor Deming stated that more information is needed before having a public information meeting. The next thing he would like to do is to meet with the MRB group to look over the information from the 2012 proposed projects, along with maps.
A meeting is now scheduled for Thursday, August 30th at 9am in the municipal building. Town Clerk, Heidi Levan is unavailable to take meeting minutes. Monica Deyo offered to take the meeting minutes for this special meeting on August 30th.
With no further business, on a motion by Councilman Lonneville and seconded by Councilman Bliek, Supervisor Deming recessed the meeting at 2:40pm.
Heidi M. Levan, Town Clerk/Clerk of the Board