Village has hustled to get the trees down by March 31 deadline
HOLLEY – Village residents have been hearing the sound of chain saws for about two months as part of an effort to take down 60 trees.
Most of the trees have been removed. A couple more will come down on Geddes Street this week.
The village’s Department of Public Works and Electric Department have taken down most of the trees ahead of a sidewalk and waterline project. A contractor was needed to remove eight trees that were too high for the village’s bucket truck. (Some of the wood will likely be auctioned off.)
Mayor Brian Sorochty said the trees could only be cut down before March 31. Trees in this project, which includes federal and state funding, can’t be cut down after March 31 through Nov. 15 because of environmental protections for bats, which use trees for habitat.
The tree-cutting was approved by the State Historic Preservation Office, as well as a plan to replant new trees, which will be smaller when they are mature.
Holley will be going out to bid in June to replace about 4 miles of sidewalks in the village. Holley also will be replacing about 2 miles of waterlines.
The village has been approved for a $1.78 million grant for sidewalks through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program.
Holley also was awarded a nearly $1.3 million grant from the state for upgrades to the water system through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, as well as the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program.
The trees are being removed because of the sidewalk project. The tree roots are pushing up sidewalks in many spots. Plus the new sidewalks will be wider and closer to the road.
The project will be done in phases with the first focus on South Main and North Main (Route 237), Geddes and Morgan streets. The bid will include alternatives for East Union, East Avenue and Park Place. If the bids are lower than expected, the alternatives could be included as part of the bid to be accepted this year.
The project involves about a third of the sidewalks in the village. They need to be compliant with handicapped accessibility regulations. In some spots that means the village will need to acquire some land to have enough space for handicapped accessible ramps at intersections.
The waterline project includes 9,050 linear feet, nearly 2 miles, and involves replacing 4- to 8-inch water mains with 8- to 12-inch water mains. That project includes portions of South Main, North Main, East Union, Park Place, East Albion and Geddes streets.
In some spots the new sidewalks will go in after the new water lines are installed.
Sorochty said the work will be done in phases over the next two years.
The mayor urged patience while the projects are under construction. He said he is excited for the finished product. In addition, the renovation of the former Holley High School will be done in about a year, and the state Department of Transportation will be repaving Route 237 in the village.