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Town of Shaftsbury, VT
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Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262

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Hearing Set on Grandview Sidewalk Plan

Posted: April 5, 2024


SHAFTSBURY - The Shaftsbury Select Board plans to hold a public hearing on the long-discussed Grandview Street sidewalk project in the near future.

Resident Heather Bullock asked the board about the progress on the project at the board's Monday meeting and expressed frustration with delays.

"Honestly, we're getting very frustrated. We've been trying to get a sidewalk for three years now," she said. "And they finally did the study, but I feel the can just keeps getting kicked down the road. And the safety issues still exist.

"So, it's very, very frustrating because I feel like I have to pop into meetings often just to find out where we're at. I think (former board chair) Mr. Whitman said there would be a public meeting about it in March," she said.

"But now we're in April, and there has been nothing regarding the public meeting. So, I don't know where we're at. And if we're not moving on this soon, that's probably going to be a whole other year before they can get to it, given that we're kind of coming into construction season."

Board Chair Naomi Miller said they would be scheduling a meeting, probably for the end of the month. "We just have to confirm with all the relevant parties," she said, "Thank you for coming. Sorry that you have had to feel like you need to keep checking in and pushing it, but we are tracking it and we are moving it forward. And there will be a public hearing very soon."

Bullock replied that there have already been public meetings.

"There's already been survey sent out. Everybody who returned a survey on Grandview was an agreement that they wanted this," she said. "What is the meeting about?"

Interim Town Administrator David Kiernan said the project's federal funding requires a final public hearing. He said securing funding for the project would take at least a year: grants will be sought and a bond vote will be taken.

"The process is once we have the grant, because it's federal money involved, it requires a certain number of steps, including a final public hearing," he said. "After the last public hearing it has to go for a few adjustments that are done in Montpelier by different agencies. They finally agreed back in January that we could move forward."

However, because Kiernan had announced his retirement and a member was voted off the board in March, "we couldn't get it together in March so we're having it in April."

Hutchins asked what would be the next step after the hearing.

"Well, the next step, which is going to be quite a large one, is the project is going to be in the multiple of hundreds of thousands of dollars, probably close to $800,000," Kiernan said.

"The only way to finance that is through a partial grant and have the town vote for a bond to build the sidewalk on Grand-view. So, you're talking, honestly, a year plus in that process and if the townspeople have to vote on the bond, the entire town, it has to pass for us to get any funding to do it," Kiernan said.

Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Posted/Author: Mark Rondeau

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