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Officials: Road may see sidewalks in future

Project ‘still in beginning stages’

October 09, 2011
WALES — New sidewalks might be coming to Route 19 soon if town officials and residents can reach an agreement on the best policy for maintaining them.

The state has offered to pay for the installation of new sidewalks on both sides of Route 19 stretching from the old town hall to the senior center, but the town would be responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalks. Selectman Michael Valanzola said a public hearing will likely be held in November to allow residents to offer their input about the topic and make suggestions.

“We are still in the beginning stages regarding this potential project,” Valanzola said. “I think that having sidewalks on Route 19 would be of great value to our town, but we want residents to know that there will be a responsibility on behalf of the town to pay for maintenance. We would all need to come to an agreement on what we feel is the best approach.”

Valanzola mentioned two possibilities for covering the cost of maintenance that might be used. The first would involve the town being responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks in front of municipal buildings and residents accepting responsibility for maintaining sidewalks in front of their properties. The second scenario would involve the town covering the entire responsibility of maintaining the sidewalks, which is a less favorable option to Valanzola because he feels it would cause the town to pay additional money for labor. One of the most common maintenance projects that would need to take place each year on the sidewalks is the removal of snow and ice.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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