KINDERHOOK–The Village Board hosted a public information meeting last week to discuss the proposed plans for sidewalk repairs and replacing the water main on William Street. Mayor Jim Dunham said the much needed work could would cost about $830,000.
At the beginning of the February 22 meeting, held at the Palmer Engine & Hose Co. Firehouse, the mayor said, “The funding is the big issue.”
Representatives from HVEA Engineers, who were hired by the village to put together the plans, made a presentation at the meeting about the proposed work. Seventeen people attended, many of whom live on William Street.
Jared Anderson, a project engineer from HVEA, told the crowd, “Right now, the sidewalks are falling apart.” He also said the current water main is at the “end of its life.” So part of the plan is to replace the main while they do the sidewalk work. The work would just be on William Street, from Chatham Street (state Route 9) to Maiden Lane, according to the plans.
Mayor Dunham pointed out after the meeting that the village has done several water main and sidewalk repairs projects. He said in the 1990s work was done on state Route 9 and more recently the village has done the same work on Hudson, Church and Sylvester streets.
About $325,000 of the total $830,000 cost for the project is for water main repair. Mr. Dunham said the board is looking into state grants to help fund the project. And the village does have state Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) money that officials can put toward the work. The village normally gets about $35,000 yearly from the state in CHIPs funding, the mayor said, so if the state provides the same amount this year, the village would have $70,000 to help fund the proposed project.
“We’ll have to bond some of it,” he said of borrowing money for the project.
Mr. Anderson said during his presentation that the $830,000 is an estimate. Plans still need to be finalized, reviewed by the state’s Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) since the street is in a historic district, and the village must finish the state Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) of the project. He hopes have the project ready for contractors to bid on the work this spring with construction starting this summer, if funding for the project is there.
For the sidewalks to be accessible and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Mr. Anderson said they will need to be widened to four feet. He said that may mean coming onto the property of some residents and that those people would be informed. The village would have to purchase the land, which he said in most cases would be “a sliver.”
He also said that plans would retain the historic character of the sidewalk, which is only on one side of William Street, and that they would “reuse existing granite curbs” where possible.
Mr. Anderson told residents that during construction they would be able to get in and out of their driveways and that there would be one-way traffic during the daytime on the road. He said there would be a foreman on site to answer questions. When crews are working in front of someone’s driveway he said the property owner will be informed.
Mayor Dunham said there are 19 properties along that section of William Street.
As for the access to water during the project, Mr. Anderson said that water would not be shut off for extended periods of time but it would have to be off for short periods. He said the new water main would not affect water pressure.
“We don’t anticipate taking any trees down,” he said of the project.
He did say that the plans call for tying the drainage from the street into the state Route 9 drainage and that his firm was talking to the state about that.
The proposed plans are available at the Village Hall for the public to review. Mr. Anderson said at the beginning of his presentation, “Just because we’re here tonight doesn’t mean it ends tonight.” There were comment sheets that people could fill out at the meeting.
“We’re here to keep you informed,” he said.
The next regular Village Board meeting will be Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Village Hall.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email