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Friday, July 25, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Hill St., Canajoharie, connects Route 10 to Mill St. The village board will continue discussions regarding whether it should be made a seasonal road during July's monthly board meeting.

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Village board discusses making Hill St. a seasonal road

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - Updated: 10:08 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- On Tuesday, the Village Board of Canajoharie held a public hearing prior to their regular monthly meeting to discuss whether Hill St., connecting Route 10 and Mill St., should be made a seasonal road, closed from Nov. 1 to April 1.

Deputy Mayor Ronald Dievendorf asked Fire Chief Frank Nestle "do you see any reason why we should not do this based on firefighting responsibilities?"

Nestle responded, "no -- the only thing I discussed with the mayor is that if something does happen to the front of the dress factory, we'd have to have an alternative plan to open the road."

Mayor Francis Avery said that in such an event, the barriers placed at each end could be removed, and the road could be quickly reopened, plowed and sanded.

Police Chief Bryan MacFadden said that if there's a heavy winter, snow and ice buildup could take hours to clear.

MacFadden said, "I'm just not comfortable with one way in, one way out." He continued, the road sees significant traffic each morning. "There are days when Hill St. is pretty handy," he said, adding "most people don't have a problem with it and do use it significantly."

In regards to the road potentially serving as a liability for the village, MacFadden said there's only been "one documented accident," of a teenage driver, which he felt was primarily due to inexperience.

The board asked DPW Superintendent Jeff Swartz if there's ever been a problem sanding and maintaining the hill. He said there hasn't, but noted that the road is one of the last to receive maintenance, as well-travelled routes are the first to be plowed and sanded.

Trustee Stanley Smith said, "I'd like to see it just as a seasonal road not only for the protection of our people, but for the men of the DPW." When he was working for the village, he said there were instances where he couldn't sand the road without backing up it, as to travel down it would've resulted in the vehicle potentially sliding into the Canajoharie Creek.

He also pointed out that the bank of the creek is already bad, and the wall could come lose "and take half of the road with it."

The board discussed placing signs at the road's entrances, stating something to the effect of "Caution -- Steep Incline". The board also discussed lowering the speed limit on the hill to 15 miles per hour (a number suggested by MacFadden).

The village board ultimately decided to table the matter, as Trustee John Snyder was absent. The board will seek his opinion at the next meeting, utilizing his input to make their final decision.

     

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