Once Again, Valley Road Sidewalk Project Has Legs

Katonah walkway, on the drawing board for years, would link Cherry and New streets.

Bedford town officials have dusted off a long-dormant sidewalk project to help pedestrians walk into downtown Katonah.

The sidewalk, following the north side of Valley Road from Cherry Street to an existing sidewalk on New Street, would cost upwards of $515,000—considerably upwards, by one estimate. In a vote Tuesday, the town board agreed to allocate the project’s state and federal aid, approved years ago.

The state Department of Transportation will distribute the federal aid share, about $309,000, as well as the state’s roughly $61,000 contribution. Under the state’s estimated $515,000 project cost, Bedford would be responsible for the remaining $130,000.

But Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn quoted the town’s consulting engineer, James J. Hahn, as calling the state estimate “substantially low.” Winn said Hahn puts the likely cost at about $795,000, which would push the town’s ante beyond $400,000.

A firm number will remain unknown until the project has been submitted to competitive bidding, Winn pointed out.

Supervisor Lee V.A. Roberts, calling the installation “an important piece of sidewalk,” urged board approval. “While I’m disappointed that it’s going to be so expensive, I think we have to move forward with this project,” she said. “Hopefully, in the final analysis, it will be less than anticipated.”

McLain speed signs

The town will consider adding two more radar speed signs to McLain Street, doubling the number of these vehicle-activated warning devices.

Responding to a petition signed by McLain Street residents living between Barker Street and Route 172, Supervisor Lee V.A. Roberts recommending adding the solar-powered devices. Residents hope to slow traffic on the residential street, a popular alternative route for drivers looking to bypass commercial thoroughfares.

“I think they do serve a purpose,” Roberts said of the interactive displays, a pair of which is expected to cost some $15,000. Considered traffic-calming devices, the signs are meant to slow cars by alerting drivers to unsafe speeds.

Volunteers join, leave town panels

A number of personnel moves involving Bedford’s multiple volunteer boards, committees and commissions changed their makeup this week.

The town board reappointed Thom Cadley to the Communications Committee and named Michael McGinnis to the Bedford Village Historic Review Commission.

The board also accepted the resignations of Patsy Morton from the Blue Mountain Housing Development Corp. and Bart Tyler from the Katonah District Review Commission.

In other action Tuesday, the town board:

CHANGED Bedford’s Valuation Date—the date upon which the value of all property in town is reckoned—from June 1 of the previous year to July 1 of the current year, matching the state’s valuation date and that of most other communities.

URGED the Federal Housing Finance Agency to reconsider its “blanket opposition”  to PACE financing for local programs to help homeowners cut energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions.

SET May 3 through May 5 as town Cleanup Days, with rates for resident disposal of $25 for a carload of waste, $60 for a pickup truck, $115 for a dump truck with a capacity of less than 6 yards and $230 for dump trucks that hold more.     




pauline schneider March 22, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Terrific! Do it now! The longer we wait the more the cost will spike in relation to energy costs.
Patty Tierney March 22, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Valley Rd needs a sidewalk. I have walked it with a stroller and was always concerned about safety. Not everyone is polite enough to slow down and move over for pedestrians.
Dan March 22, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Don't waste our money on this. How much did we spend for the sidewalks and maint on Cherry St? It was needed more on Cherry St., however every day I see joggers on the blacktop and not on the sidewalks. And did you see all the rock and ledge in that area on Valley Rd? No wonder why Mr. Winn says it will cost alot more. What do those homeowners think? And will their house foundations be affected with ledge removal? Let's face it, that section of Valley Rd. has less foot and car traffic than Cherry St and Huntville. Remember the 2% cap override, the layoffs, and now the school district must pay back a half million for over charging property owners. Who is going to pay for all this? And get rid of the leaf pickup program, it's a waste and if you don't pick up everyones then why should everyone pay?


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