By Ed Harris
The Town Council returned an ordinance update on sidewalks used as school access ways back to a subcommittee after hearing about a dozen residents speak out against the proposal during a public hearing earlier this week.
Town Councilor Cheryl Lounsbury chairs the Council’s subcommittee that was tasked with updating several town ordinances. Monday night, Lounsbury said her subcommittee had worked with the Board of Education to create a list of sidewalks that are no longer used for school purposes and that the plan was to return these sidewalks to the homeowners.
In all, nine areas were designated for return.
Close to a dozen residents, mostly from or around Frost Street in Plantsville, spoke out against the proposal, citing the deplorable conditions of the sidewalks due to years of neglect.
“You own the sidewalks, you clean it,” Richard Ahern told the Council.
Several residents, including Roger Peterson, brought up an agreement between the homeowners and the town from 1970 that said the town would take care of the sidewalks. It appeared that this was the first time that the Council was made aware of the agreement.
“You should be honoring your agreement,” Peterson said.
Residents also brought up issues of liability, snow issues and the removal of the sidewalks, if they deemed fit.
Following a motion, the matter was tabled for a return to the subcommittee, but action on several other ordinances, including sewers, the naming of buildings and fines and fees were passed unanimously.
Some of the councilors appeared shocked about the state of disrepair of the sidewalks in question.
“It’s totally unfair,” said Town Councilor John Barry.
Lounsbury said her ordinance subcommittee would schedule a special meeting to take another look at the sidewalk issue. Another public hearing will take place following the special meeting.