Ulster Avenue in Walden is bustling with construction work for the village’s sidewalk replacement project, but the current time frame for the road work could see portions of the project pushed into next spring. After years of planning and countless New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) delays, the sidewalk work finally began on Sept. 3, and the results are visible and tactile to those walking or driving along Route 208.
But with winter fast approaching, Walden Village Manager John Revella said after the Walden Village Board meeting on Oct. 1 that the entire project was unlikely to be completed before the crews must halt their work due to frigid temperatures. “Not by winter,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it with the timeline, based on how much is left to do.” When the work began, there was an estimated timeline of three to four months for its completion.
During his report to the board during last Tuesday’s meeting, Revella reported that an issue with the DOT had emerged, but it would not delay the sidewalk project. “The Ulster Avenue project is moving along,” Revella informed the board. “We had a small hiccup with DOT and their ridiculous bureaucracy, and we’re moving through that. We’re having another pre-construction meeting next week.”
During last week’s meeting, the board set a public hearing for its next session on Oct. 15 for a local law that would ban signs in McKinley Park and the Fireman’s Triangle area outside of Village Hall. The legislation, if approved, would bar all political and commercial signs from being placed in either public park.
In August, the Walden Village Board held a joint meeting with the Town of Montgomery board to discuss the potential annexation of the Amthor property from the town into the village. While that annexation has yet to be approved by the board as they gather information on the proposal, the village has received an annexation petition from another property on Route 52 across from the Amthor site that consists of 34 acres of vacant residential land. The applicant is a home-building corporation that intends to develop houses on the empty farmland.
If the village moves forward with the new application, they would be required to hold another joint public hearing with the Montgomery board, and the Walden board reached a consensus during its Tuesday meeting to reach out to their Montgomery counterparts and look at dates for a potential meeting.
Trustee Dan Svarczkopf suggested during the meeting that the village should ask the nearby Dollar General store to get a definitive answer about whether they intend to also submit an application for annexation. Walden Mayor Susan Rumbold was not in favor of the idea to invite the shop to submit an application. “Do we really want to solicit somebody to annex?” she asked. “Is that proper?” “We have seven properties in that area that want to annex and they’re in the middle of it, so I would rather not have a hole in our map if we cover that area,” Svarczkopf responded.
Revella noted that it’s in the village’s purview to approach a property owner regarding annexation if that’s the board’s pleasure. “If you want to solicit, solicit, if that’s what you think is proper,” Rumbold responded. “So where do you stop? How far are we going to march up and down 52 to solicit?”