The poured concrete sidewalk will be extended from the driveway of the Madsonian Museum on Bridge Street almost to the covered bridge in Waitsfield.
The select board voted to spend an extra $1,600 to upgrade that section of sidewalk from hot patch to cement at its August 10 meeting.
AnneMarie DeFreest and Barbra Gulisano, who have raised the money to provide the brick accent for the sidewalk plus funds for streetlights and benches, asked the board why the plans were engineered such that the poured sidewalk did not extend past the driveway of the Madsonian.
ORDER THE BRICKS
“We need to know if this section can be concrete and we need to know so that we can order the bricks for that section,” DeFreest told the board.
“It was engineered to be hot patch because of the trucks turning around,” select board chair Paul Hartshorn said.
“I met with the engineer and the contractor today and got cost estimates to extend the sidewalk across the driveway. The other side has sidewalk right up to the bridge. If I understand his email, the net increase is $1,600 to do that,” town administrator Valerie Capels said.
“We have a good solid base there. Why would we want to put concrete there?” Hartshorn asked.
MOST PHOTOGRAPHED SPOT
“It’s the most photographed spot in The Valley. This is a really important part of this historic community and it would give it a consistent foot base as well as a better look,” DeFreest said.
“It’s going to cost more money and we can’t just keep spending money,” Hartshorn said.
“It’s going to cost less than what it would have cost for you guys to sponsor two benches, which is what one of your board members suggested a couple of weeks ago,” DeFreest responded.
“Well that didn’t go any further,” Hartshorn said.
“That’s because I stopped it because it was inappropriate,” DeFreest said.
Capels noted that funds for the $1,600 upgrade could come out of the town’s sidewalk reserve fund. Hartshorn asked whether that would leave that fund short when it came time to complete another sidewalk project.
A GOOD DEAL
Other board members noted that at $1,600 to complete the project and complete it right, it was a good deal. One questioned how the engineering plans could have ignored that spot and Capels explained the protracted nature of this particular project which includes bridge work, stormwater work, abutment work plus repaving the street. Parts of the project were scheduled earlier and then got rolled into one project which got delayed during which more parts were added to the project.
The board voted 3-1 to use $1,600 from the sidewalk reserve to complete the project. Hartshorn objected. Board members Logan Cooke, Sal Spinosa and Kari Dolan voted in favor. Board member Scott Kingsbury had been at the meeting earlier but left to avoid a conflict of interest when the board discussed wastewater bids from Kingsbury Construction, his employer.
IN YOUR LAP
The board also heard from electrician Vince Gauthier about costs associated with returning power to the covered bridge. Gauthier told the board that to get power to the bridge again it will require installing a pedestal which he estimated would cost $2,816 plus $573 to connect the runners and $200 for two-inch pipe.
“I don’t know how that is going to be paid for. I don’t think the streetlight project should pay for that. Once the power was removed from the bridge for this work, the cost of getting it back was going to end up in your lap,” Gauthier said.
The bricks for Bridge Street beautification project, which includes the streetlights, raised funds to install the conduit for the streetlights, purchase the streetlights and have them installed. Gauthier is donating 36 hours of his labor to the beautification project.
Capels suggested that the expense of getting power back to the bridge should be wrapped into the bigger Bridge Street project and the board agreed.
SAME COLOR SCHEME
At that same meeting, the board received news that the Town Office Design Committee had met and named Kingsbury to be the liaison between the town and the contractors. The committee also decided to stick with the color scheme voters at Town Meeting in 2014 had identified as the preferred scheme, rather than agree to new colors suggested by the project architects. Board member Cooke and Darryl Forrest were named to the design committee to fill two vacancies.