By Lisa Loomis

On Primary Election Day, August 26, Waitsfield voters will be asked to okay spending up to $65,000 to close out the final bills for the town's newly built sidewalk system and to fund the town's portion of two new sections of sidewalk.

The vote takes place on Tuesday, August 26, at Waitsfield Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. The vote will be a floor vote and voters must attend the meeting to cast a ballot.

The polls will be open for Primary Election voting in all Valley towns from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Waitsfield voters will cast their ballots at Waitsfield Elementary School. Fayston voters will cast ballots at the town offices. Moretown voters will vote at the town offices. Warren voters will be voting at the school. Duxbury voters will cast ballots at Crossett Brook Elementary School.


The town's large sidewalk project which was completed last year, had 90 percent state and federal funding with a 10 percent local match. The project was originally estimated at $1.2 million but ran into cost overruns that depleted the $150,000 in the town's Sidewalk Reserve Fund and left the town still owning $37,666 to close out the project.

That sidewalk runs on the east side of Route 100 from Waitsfield Elementary School south to the southern entrance of Village Square Shopping Center. Then it continues on the west side of Route 100 almost to Bragg Hill.

The town has received a Safe Routes to School grant for two other sidewalk projects, one of which has a local share and one which doesn't. This week a contractor was selected for the first of those two projects which will realign the intersection of Route 100 and Old County Road and create a sidewalk on the west side of Route 100 from that intersection to Valley Players Theater.

Part of that work involves putting utilities underground and that expense, $13,800, is not grant eligible. To realign that intersection means moving utilities underground at Mad River Valley Health Center to protect their trees.

The second phase of the Village West sidewalk will construct a sidewalk from Valley Players Theater to the intersection of Bridge Street and Route 100. That project has a 10 percent local share. Originally, the town anticipated paying for that local share from its Sidewalk Reserve Fund; however, it is currently depleted, thanks to the big sidewalk project, so a portion of that local share is being sought at the August 26 vote.

Voters will be asked to authorize the town to borrow up to $65,000 with $37,666 earmarked for the big sidewalk, $13,800 for the Village West sidewalk phase one and the balance earmarked for the local share of the Village West sidewalk phase two.