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Holley officials urged to address sidewalks in disrepair

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 16 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Kristina Gabalski – A deteriorated sidewalk is shown on Thomas Street looking west toward South Main Street in Holley.

HOLLEY – Calling many sidewalks in the village unsafe, Jay Smith told Holley Village Board members during their regular meeting on Tuesday that they should designate annual funding to replace a section of sidewalk on a yearly basis.

Smith said he owns rental property in the village and he worries about the condition of the sidewalks.

“It’s dangerous,” he told board members about the sidewalks along streets just outside the main business district. He said one of his tenants recently twisted an ankle walking on a sidewalk.

Trustee Connie Nenni said sidewalks have been a concern of hers since she ran for office.

“It’s big on our list,” she said of the situation. “It’s one of those things that really bothered me.”

However, she explained that under village law, homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks in front of their property.

“I don’t know if the board is willing to take on the expense,” she said.

Nenni explained there are no “teeth” in the village law to make homeowners replace sidewalks.

Board members discussed the possibility of looking into grant money that could help cover some of the cost of replacing sidewalks.

Mayor John Kenney said areas with poor sidewalks have been identified.

“We are looking into ways to keep sidewalks safe,” he said, adding that even in places where sidewalks are in good condition, some residents continue to walk in the street at their own risk.

“If you do nothing it’s only going to get worse,” Smith responded. “I wanted to bring it to you attention.”

He noted sidewalk replacement is “… a large expense. I don’t see homeowners being able to pay.”

Trustee Skip Carpenter noted work has been done to improve sidewalks on some streets including Batavia Street, High Street and East Avenue. Sidewalks along South Main Street from the bridge to Jackson Street will be replaced when water main work is done there in the coming months, he said.

“We will continue to talk about it and try to do something about it,” Nenni told Smith.