DERBY LINE – The Village of Derby Line is getting new sidewalks. Voters at the annual village meeting Tuesday gave a unanimous yes for village officials to move forward on the project.
The sidewalks are crumbling in many places in the village and near the Haskell Library; walkers are forced to cross the street in one area. But that's about to change.
The village is expecting a $300,000 grant from the Vermont Department of Transportation for the project; the village must contribute 20 percent or $60,000. Half of that amount, or $30,000, can be in the form of in-kind services.
Trustee Buzzy Roy has worked on the project for more than a year.
New concrete is planned for sidewalks beginning on Main Street, in front of Community bank, up Caswell Avenue, and parts of Highland Avenue. The area across from the Haskell Opera House and Library will include a new design to accommodate both pedestrians and a driveway.
Beach Street sidewalks will also be improved. On a separate article, voters were asked to spend up to $4,000 to extend the street’s sidewalks. Voters gave unanimous approval.
Some of Derby Line’s water and sewer pipes are more than 100 years old. In some places, water and sewer pipes are on top on each other and cross where they should not. The water contains rust and dirt that some residents see when they first turn on the water.
Trustee Perry Hunt said the water is flushed as recommended and tested regularly. He insists the water is not a health danger. Hunt said there are more and more problems with the pipes. Three line breaks occurred during the winter and repairs are a disaster with the way the pipes are laid out, he explained.
Voters were asked to approve a sum of money for a study to replace the potable water system. Hunt estimated that a study could cost $100,000 and the final project with new infrastructure could cost between $3-5 million.
According to the trustees, they couldn't find any grants to fund the project. Both trustees and residents were concerned about the cost.
The article was amended to direct the trustees to continue to monitor the situation and explore options, including looking for grants. If the village went at it alone, it would be a significant burden on rate payers, trustees said.
Beadle also said that sewer system problems indicate people are throwing baby wipes and sometimes rags in the system. He urged people to not flush these items.