Rotterdam residents walking on Helderberg Avenue will soon be safer thanks to state and county money allocated for the construction of a sidewalk along the roadway.
The Schenectady County Legislature passed a resolution accepting $20,000 in state aid secured by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Schenectady, and state Assemblyman Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, and agreed to finance the remaining $35,000 to complete the project from the Capital Highway Improvement Program budget at the Legis-lature's meeting Tuesday, Jan. 9.
Town Councilman Robert Godlewski began the task of getting state money for this project in 2004, long before he was a member of the council. He lives in the area and said he was unhappy with the safety of the road.
When they developed the area, there was a drainage problem, so now there is a large ditch on one side of the road, he said. "When you walk down the road to the high school, you are literally walking in the road with a ditch on the side of you. It's very unsafe."
Godlewski said he went to the town and the school district and was told that there was no money available to construct a sidewalk to make the road safer. He then went to the county Legislature where he was told to petition the state. It took a few more years before the money became available.
Farley secured $15,000 from the Multi-Modal Program, and Tonko secured $5,000.
County legislators Judith Dagostino, D-Rotterdam, and Kent Gray, D-Rotterdam, sponsored the resolution.
Gray thanked Godlewski for his hard work.
"We gave you the direction, but you went there," he said.
Gray went on to say that Helderberg Avenue is a busy roadway and public safety has been a priority within the community.
"This is something good for the town of Rotterdam and for the pedestrians in that town," he said.