On the fence in Bethlehem

In response to Jakovic's initial alarm, an orange construction fence was erected between the sidewalk and the fence.

Jakovic"who runs a real estate law practice in addition to raising heifers on the same land his grandfather, Harold Magee, worked decades ago"said he would like to see a more permanent fence installed, or the sidewalk built on the other side of the road entirely. Cunningham said the town looked at both sides of Feura Bush Road, and building on the southerly side would have been more costly.

"The cost would have been much greater because the terrain was a little bit more difficult for us to maneuver through," he said. "We did look at that at one point."

The electrical portion of the fence was recently installed. Jakovic applied to the town for a building permit on May 4 and was promptly granted approval. Electricity is carried through a single wire that runs behind the fence, though the openings in the fence are easily large enough to reach through to touch the line. Signs warn of the charged line.

Jakovic said he did not know plans to build the sidewalk were ongoing when he installed the electric line. The town had contacted all the landowners along that stretch of road"including Jakovic"earlier this year, said Cunningham, for permission to enter their land for the construction process. Later, it was realized that the Department of Transportation right of way was wider than originally thought, meaning the town didn't need permission from landowners to put in the sidewalk.

"The original request was to get on his land to put the sidewalk in," Cunningham said. "We determined that it wasn't necessary."

Jakovic said that since he didn't hear from the town again and was aware of pressing economic issues, he assumed the project had been put on hold until bulldozers showed up.

As for putting a permanent fence up, Cunningham said that would subject to approval of the DOT, as they own the right of way.


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