Backyard Sheds

Busy Chatham street to see second sidewalk soon


CHATHAM–Work on Woodbridge Avenue should be done by the end of October, Department of Public Works Superintendent Phil Genovese told the Village Board last week as part of his report on the progress of the road and sidewalk work.

The street was paved just before the Labor Day weekend and before that the old sidewalk on the west side of the street was removed and a new water main was installed. The village also installed new cement curbs.

Mr. Genovese said his crew still needs to pour cement for the new sidewalk. The plan also calls for a double yellow “no passing” line painted down the middle of the road to help with traffic flow on the street. The village will paint lines to mark parking spots.

The repaved block of Woodbridge Avenue from Kinderhook Street to the CSX railroad crossing is also the address of the Chatham Middle School and Public Library. New sidewalks were built on the east side of the street last year using federal and state grant money.

Mr. Genovese told the board at the Thursday, September 8 meeting that he has received no complaints about parking or the construction since school had started Wednesday of that week.

“You did a great job on that road,” Mayor Tom Curran told Mr. Genovese.

Later the meeting the board discussed the costs of the job. Mr. Genovese stressed that no money had been borrowed for the project and that all funds came from the village budgets for this year and last year.

The new water main pipes were paid for with funds in the 2015-16 budget; the paving, which should cost about $56,000, according to Mr. Genovese, will come out of the current 2016-17 budget. Village budgets run from June to May.

He also said that through the state’s CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) the DPW received $54,000, which will be put toward the paving costs.

“All this was done out of our budget,” Mr. Genovese said, referring to DPW funding, which includes the water budget.

When asked about whether trees on Woodbridge were affected by the project, Mr. Genovese said no trees were removed. The project has moved the sidewalk toward the center of the street so that trees do not need to be uprooted. But the DPW chief said that even moving the sidewalk out 18” leaves Woodbridge Avenue wider than Main Street.

He does expect that trees will have to be removed on Main Street, since some of them are pushing up sidewalks there. Mr. Genovese said he crew had already pulled up one tree in front of 75 Main Street after someone tripped on the sidewalk due to the tree roots pushing up the pavement. The DPW replaced the sidewalk at that spot, he said.

The other places where tree roots are displacing sidewalk surfaces are in front of the Tracy Memorial/Village Hall and at the corner of Main Street and Park Row. Mr. Genovese said he plans to remove the trees, repair the sidewalk and replant new trees this spring.

On another matter, he said that leaf pickup would start soon in the village. Residents can rake leaves and grass out to the road to picked-up by the DPW. But his crew will not pick up leaf piles that contain stones, sticks, lumber or animal waste. “If it’s not leaves or grass, we are not picking it up,” he said.

Also at the meeting:

• Representatives from the Chatham Little League attended the meeting to discuss a late water bill at the fields they use in the village and in the Town of Ghent. The Little League paid part of the old bill and the water bill for this quarter but asked that they not pay the remaining $253 of the bill since they believed they made an agreement in 2008 with the former village mayor that they would not have to pay for water at the site. The agreement was not in writing, according the Little League president, but he said the Little League had not received a bill for water since then so they assumed the agreement still held.

Village Clerk Barbara Henry said that there were email and bills that went back at least 2 years. Assistant Clerk Debra Meyers pointed out that there were no late fees on the bill and no penalties. She also said the amount did not look like it covered all 8 years of the usage at the site. Mr. Genovese said the water department thought the water at the site was shut off and so he did not read the meter until 2010 when he discovered the water was on and being used.

Mayor Curran said the issue would have to go back to the village attorney, since municipalities cannot legally give away or donate utilities. “We’re not quite done with this yet,” he told the Little League

• The board approved Mr. Genovese’s request to hire a company to use camera to inspect and clean a few village sewer lines to check for roots and other blockages. The cost will be $2,600.

The next board meeting will be Thursday, September 22 at 7 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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