Letter to the Editor: Too many unknowns on sidewalk proposal

Too many unknowns on sidewalk proposal

On March 30, Easton held a referendum on five questions, one of which was a non-binding “advisory” question as to whether we should spend at least $249,000 of our town’s money upfront for a 1/3 mile long sidewalk with a state grant paying an additional $1,247,000. As of yet there are no engineering plans or feasibility studies for this sidewalk, so we have no idea what the true costs will be. The results of this advisory question were very close — 13 percent of registered Easton voters approved the sidewalk and 11 percent rejected it, while the overall voter turnout was a mere 24 percent. The Easton Board of Selectmen immediately spin-doctored this turnout as follows:

“Huge turnout” - First Selectman Bindleglass

“Turnout was remarkable” - Selectman Sogofsky

“Tremendous voter turnout” - Selectman Lessler

This is in no way a mandate to move ahead with this project, especially when so many questions and unknowns have been left unanswered, including:

1. The actual design and structural plans for the sidewalk.

2. The actual costs for this sidewalk that has not yet been designed.

3. The state-mandated requirements, restrictions, and stipulations required of us by the state if we were to accept this grant.

4. The liabilities the town might face for problems along the pathway to be located alongside a busy state road, such as traffic/pedestrian accidents and maintenance.

There is much to consider here. Until more important financial priorities are addressed such as a new, desperately needed EMS building, our Board of Finance should not commit any funds to this questionable use of our money with so many unknowns.

Grant Monsarrat, Easton