Sidewalk account now in effect

Town Counsel Ben Coyle (left)speaks to the Select Board while DPW Director Randy Brown (right) looks on during an October 2018 Select Board meeting on the sidewalk revolving account. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

SOUTHWICK – After a series of reviews by the Attorney General’s Office, including an appeal process, a revolving account for sidewalks was formed into a bylaw on December 6, according to DPW Director Randy Brown.

Passed by the voting residents at the annual town meeting in May of 2018, the sidewalk revolving account allows developers in town to deposit money into this account if they don’t need to put sidewalks at a certain area of a subdivision they’re building. This would allow the money to be used to maintain other sidewalks in town that desperately need it.

Town bylaw requires developers to install sidewalks on both sides of the road however, sometimes a developer is granted a waiver by the town to not add the sidewalks.

At the meeting in October, town counsel Ben Coyle first went through the regulations of the revolving account. Brown then discussed with the Select Board which areas in town they felt would need funds for this account.

“We do have some areas we’d like to target utilizing those funds,” said Brown.

It has been determined that Depot Street will be the first street in town that will benefit from the sidewalk revolving account. Depot Street’s sidewalks get heavy pedestrian traffic from the rail trail walkers, runners, and bikers so the sidewalks along that street are very important for the safety of those that use the sidewalk. 

Brown reiterated that the town bylaw for the sidewalk account has to only be for sidewalks.

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