Town Engineer Gets Okay on High Tech Crosswalks at Alvirne

The Hudson Planning Board opened its March 13 meeting with a request presented by Town Engineer, Elvis Dhima, for funds to install three crosswalk systems near Alvirne High School and Route 102.
“In late 2022, the Safety Highway Committee received a request regarding the installation of three beacons adjacent to Alvirne High School, and it was recommended to move forward with this project using Corridor funds,” said Dhima. “The reason I’m in front of you tonight is to ask you to move forward with this project and to recommend to the Board of Selectmen an expenditure of $64,500.”
The main costs for the new crosswalks will be labor and equipment, with delays in the initial recommendation coming from approval to put a crosswalk in a state right of way.
“For an example, would this be similar to the crosswalk on East Hollis Street?” asked Vice Chair, Jordan Ulery.
The Town Engineer confirmed this would be the case, with solar-powered equipment he called “high end” and noted that the original budget had been $75,000, more than what he was requesting from the Selectmen. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend the plan.
“We’re shooting for the first week of August, Old Home Day,” said Dhima, referring to the target installation date.
The Board heard a reconsideration for a recently approved, three-lot subdivision plan at 26 Atwood Avenue. The focus of the request was stipulation seven, which required the lot owner to contribute payment towards having a sidewalk built in front of the property.
Despite initially agreeing to the stipulation, Don Nicolls of KLN Construction had a “sticker shock” after the cost of a sidewalk proved to be much higher than initially anticipated.
“From our perspective, the sidewalks will go nowhere, it’s a neighborhood with no sidewalks on the left and no sidewalks on the right. Essentially, you’d have three lots with sidewalks that serve no purpose,” said John Bisson, who was providing legal representation for KLN. “It seems to us that the proper response would be to simply delete the condition imposed.”
Todd Boyer of 2 Merrill Street spoke in support of the stipulation removal.
“We don’t even have a fund that is in place to hold money for sidewalks, our Town Engineer has even stated that they can’t maintain them, you have a dead-end road that has no sidewalks,” said Boyer. “As far as I’m concerned, I believe the applicant is more than justified in asking for the reconsideration.”
Board member, James Crowley, expressed his frustration on what he called “a lack of policy” on how to manage sidewalks in Hudson. He called for a new set of regulations to fix some of the problems.
By contrast, board member, Victor Oates, disagreed that there was no fund to collect money from the stipulation, saying the town could collect and earmark money from similar projects through impact fees.
“The applicant agreed to this, it was the sticker shock. I understand the sticker shock, I’d be amendable to coming down to a smaller figure just to offset it,” said Oates.
After some debate, the Planning Board voted to remove the stipulation in a five-to-two vote.
The Hudson Planning Board is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m. in the Buxton Room of Town Hall.

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