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Mary Anne Loy Sidewalk Report warmly received by City Council

Mary Anne Loy is hopeful that Town-to-School Sidewalk can be completed by start of School in August of 2016. Lindsey Wilson Main Campus to Sports Park Sidewalk project is moving again, she reports. Other projects in longterm plan include Tutt Street, Walker Street or Mitchell Street, Dillon Street, Burkesville Street, Sidewalk to serve pedestrians leaving Rice Addition. Greensburg Street from Walker Street to Good Shepherd Church, and Hurt Street, Bomar Heights, and West Frazier Street.
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By Ed Waggener

With hopes that the long overdue Public Square to the Adair County School Campus could be a reality before the opening of schools in the fall, and that the Lindsey Wilson Main Campus to its Sports Park will start soon, Mary Anne Loy, chair of the Sidewalk Committee appointed by Mayor Curtis Hardwick, delivered a comprehensive plan for sidewalks which was enthusiastically received by the City Council at it's regular June 6, 2016 meeting.

The report focused on three topics: 1) Lindsey Wilson Sidewalk update 2) Greensburg Street Sidewalk-to-Schools, and 3) Future or long range sidewalk planning for Columbia.



On the Lindsey Wilson Sidewalks, she said that LWC VP Mark Coleman, has reported that the project is finally moving forward again, and that the school is now talking with property owners, and that he is encouraged that sidewalks will be built soon. Councilman Ron Rogers, a member of the sidewalk committee, said that the cost of construction would be paid through grant money. Those funds have already been received and are set aside. Mayor Hardwick added that the City will be out no more than in-kind services.

On the Sidewalks to the Schools project, she said that the obstacles are not with property owners along the way, but only with financing and, for the most part, getting started. Ms. Loy said that she had talked with almost 90% of the property owners along the path of the proposed sidewalks who were favorable to the project. She added that the information she had received was that the sidewalk would be on State Highway Department Right-of-Way, and was confident that the Highway Department would approve the sidewalks on their property.

Mayor Hardwick said he had been told the right of way was not wide enough to include the sidewalk project.

Ms. Loy, however, said she believed, with negotiations that the project could proceed one way or the other, either with land owner consent or with Kentucky State Highway Departments. She volunteered to head the negotiations, along with Council Member Ron Rogers, to secure the necessary paperwork. Those negotiations will begin promptly, she said.

In a document handed out, she wrote:
"To refresh everyone's memory, the planned sidewalk would run 2+ blocks along the north side of Greensburg Street, with a crosswalk at the intersection of Dillon and Greensburg Streets. It would be constructed on KY DOT right of way. When completed, the school campus would be connected to the town square, and beyond.

"I have talked with all 10 property owners along this route. I was pleased with the overall positive response and the courtesy ALL property owners exhibited. There is only one property owner, however, who does not understand the right of way, and will need further details from the appropriate authorities.

"Superintendent Alan Reed has offered to make space available on campus for any materials and/or equipment during the construction process to relieve property owners of that burden. "Our committee is also exploring avenues of funding. We plan to apply for appropriate grants, as they become available. This does not preclude the city's involvement now in planning and funding."
City Wide Planning

Ms. Loy presented the following in her written and oral presentation. She wrote, "Our committee felt it was also appropriate to think about other areas of town that need attention:" and listed 1) Existing sidewalks 2) Population served 3) Safety and 4) Connections that would result. Her list of these projects follow:
  • Tutt Street
  • Walker Street or Mitchell Street to Hudson, then along Hudson to Burkesville Street.
  • Dillon Street from Greensburg Street to Longhunters Subdivision
  • Burkesville Street across from Masonic Lodge. This one section of sidewalk was removed when the State regraded the bank. It would re-establish the connection to W. Frazier Street.
  • Greensburg Street 510, 512, 514 (curve across from Bill and Betty Conn). This would provide a safer access for everyone along Rice Drive and Watson Street to town.
  • Greensburg Street South side from Walker Street to Good Shepherd Catholic Church
  • Hurt Street.
  • Bomar Heights
  • West Frazier Street (providing a connection from Burkesville to Greensburg Street.) At this point, the work on securing the easements and finding funding concentrates on Greensburg Street.

    Council will take up tripping hazard work at next meeting

    Mayor presented another street proposal, not on the agenda, for continuing of removal of tripping hazards in downtown Columbia, KY.

    Council Member Linda Waggener, citing concerns from a few when the square was recently done, on the cost vs. value of the amount done in the project, and questions of possible local concrete companies who may offer that service, asked that further study be given before buying additional streets.

    Mayor Hardwick and Ms. Waggener said that they will be willing to talk with citizens who have comments or know of local vendors to provide the service before voting in 30 days to do additional tripping hazard work.

    The Council did vote to set aside the money for the tripping hazard removal work, pending evaluation of alternatives by local area contractors. That vote was unanimous.


    This story was posted on 2016-06-07 07:04:24
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