Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said yesterday in posts on the ECC’s Facebook page that while he is “100% committed” to building them, it will take years before any sidewalks making it safe for children to walk to and from elementary schools in Edgemont are built.
Mr. Feiner yesterday released the results of a feasibility study which called for the construction of sidewalks on Seely Place, Ardsley Road and portions of Fort Hill Road between Ardsley Road and Longview Roads, estimated to cost $1,162,360. The study cited numerous public safety risks to children in recommending the sidewalks be built.
But rather than seeking to bond the project so the work could begin, Mr. Feiner said the town board would probably recommend proceeding instead with an engineering study just on Seely Place alone — a 950 foot sidewalk estimated to cost $258,260.
Mr. Feiner also said he would include sidewalks in his “capital budget.” However, when it was pointed out that he had not included any money in his capital budget for sidewalks since 2011, when he allocated only $250,000, had not allocated a penny for sidewalks since then, and didn’t include any money for sidewalks in his capital plan for 2016-17, Mr. Feiner admitted that he didn’t expect to see the first of any sidewalks built in Edgemont until 2016 or maybe 2017.
Under Feiner’s plan, it will take many years after that before any of the other sidewalks recommended for Edgemont are built, and if Mr. Feiner changes his mind, or the town board doesn’t go along with the plan, they may never get built at all. Until last year, when he said his mind had been changed, Mr. Feiner had actively opposed the construction of sidewalks in Edgemont for the past decade.
He nevertheless offered yesterday to work with the ECC in planning over the next several years for these sidewalks, but without the Town’s support for constructing all the sidewalks recommended by applying immediately for federal and state grants to pay for them, there doesn’t seem to be any role for the ECC to play with the Town in this effort.
Because Edgemont is not an incorporated village, it must rely on the Town to apply for federal and state grants to pay for sidewalks needed for its children to walk to school safely.
A group exploring Edgemont’s incorporation is planning to meet early next month.
Edgemont, which has its own school district and fire department, currently pays around 25% of the Town’s property taxes for municipal services but has no representation on the Town Board, and no control over zoning and planning.
That percentage of taxes paid to the Town is expected to climb next year when the results of the Town’s reassessment of property are announced.