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Selkirk turns out for community forum

Event praised as a success by town officials

Selkirk residents turned out Monday night for the first of what is promised to be a series of informal community meetings around the Town of Bethlehem, and had a chance to ask questions of town officials.

Of the 30 or so residents in the audience, many were concerned about the building of sidewalks in the hamletor rather the lack thereof. Many said sidewalks are a priority in Selkirk due to the high volume of commercial traffic from the area's industrial base, which makes walking or biking the hamlet a dangerous affair.

Supervisor Sam Messina said absent grant funding, which is difficult to come by, there is little money for sidewalk projects.

I think we're dealing with an economic environment where with so many cutbacks, worthwhile things like this just aren't getting funded," he said. "It really just gets to be a money issue right now."

Cottage Lane resident Cindy Radliff, who has long been petitioning the town for a cost-effective way to extend sewer service to her area, also spoke at the meeting.

"I've been trying for 32 years to get sewer on my home on Cottage Lane," she said. "I look at Feura Bush and and they got sidewalks... It seems like this little area here gets nothing."

Radliff and her neighbors were told in a meeting last year the cost of extending sewer to the neighborhood would run in the millions and have to be assumed by the homeowners.

But residents weren't the only ones doing the talking Monday. Representatives from several town departments made presentations on what's happening at Town Hall and in Selkirk specifically.

Sergeant Robert Helligrass of the Bethlehem Police Department advised residents of the www.citizenobserver.com Web site, which the department uses to send out electronic alerts, and the newly-launched Offender Watch program, a new sex offender tracking Web site. Both are accessible through the town's Web site.

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