Easton residents don't appear to support new pathway

Town Hall in Easton, Conn. April 20, 2012.

Town Hall in Easton, Conn. April 20, 2012.

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

EASTON — The unofficial votes are in and early results show that residents are not in favor of the town appropriating $80,000 for the initial design of a multi-use and pedestrian path along Sport Hill Road.

First Selectman Dave Bindelglass said in his recent town update that the project has the unanimous, bipartisan support of the planning and zoning commission, has been recommended by two police chiefs, multiple school and district educators and was supported by a state road safety audit. However, it still remains the most controversial topic.

The project was also approved by voters in an advisory eferendum in March, however, initial numbers from Tuesday’s referendum show that at least 865 voters disagree with the use of the money, 310 more than the residents that voted yes.

The initial proposal for the project started in 2019 by Bindelglass’ predecessor, Republican Adam Dunsby.

The purpose of the project was to provide a multi-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists to safety travel along Route 59 between the developed residential area of town, the middle school and the town center. Currently, Route 59 consists of two lanes with no sidewalks between the intersection of Flat Rock Road and the main driveway of Silverman’s Farm.

On Tuesday, residents were asked to vote on the first part of the project — the preliminary phase.

The design phase of the path is completed in three sections by the state; the preliminary, semi-final and final design. According to the project proposal, the preliminary design accounts for about half of the total design cost, about $80,000. The Town is responsible for $16,000, about 20 percent.

Before proceeding to the next stage, Easton can reject the project due to impact or cost. However, if the early results are any indication for what’s to come, the project may be on hold until further notice.

It seems like the other four referendum items will pass though based on the unofficial results.

Residents are currently in favor of adopting the new Land Use Ordinance, nearly 1,090 residents voted yes to only about 300 voting no. About 1,200 residents voted yes to adopting the new Tax-Exempt Handicap Vehicle Ordinance compared to only 200 that voted no. Also, about 1,120 voted yes to adopting the revised Ethics Ordinance compared to the nearly 250 the opposed the change.

Lastly, residents are currently in favor of the the Town of Easton appropriating about $550,000 for the partial roof replacement at Easton Country Day School at 660 Morehouse Road. Just over 1,020 residents voted yes compared to about 380 that voted no.