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Local landowner raises concerns about new sidewalk

A Glenmont landowner is hoping that pedestrians who travel a soon-to-be-completed stretch of sidewalk along Feura Bush Road near the intersection of Wemple Road won't find the experience too invigorating.

Jay Harold Jakovic said he is concerned that his electric fence will pose a danger to passers-by walking a new section of sidewalk. Town officials have erected a plastic fence between the sidewalk and his property, but contend there is no risk of accidental electrocution.

The sidewalk is just a level stretch of gravel now with a drainage ditch running alongside. The concrete will be poured in coming days as part of the town's effort to offer pedestrian access to the town's center to Glenmont residents. Work along Elsmere Avenue will also be finished up before the year's end.

Right now, the fence is inactive and the livestock moved to fields further back from the road. In late November, Jakovic said, he will move his cattle back to the grazing area closer to the road, as he does every year, and reactivate the fence.

Running a sidewalk along an electric fence is certainly not safe, said Jakovic, who said while his primary concern is the safety of his neighbors, he also worries about being held liable if someone leaves the sidewalk and touches his fence.

"I'm not opposed to the sidewalk, I have no objection to it," Jakovic said. "I just feel the sidewalk should be made safer."

The town's position is that there is no real danger posed by running a sidewalk in that location. Supervisor Jack Cunningham said that the sidewalk is about 16 feet from the fence.

"You have to go off the sidewalk, over the drainage ditch, go up and reach inside the fence to get a shock," he said. "We don't believe there's any risk to residents."

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