continued “We want and need a sidewalk,” said resident Faith Fuller. “I’ve lived here 30 years and I keep harping on the same thing. I’ve talked to my neighbors and they keep harping on the same thing. Please do something. Put something in the right direction so we know you’re just as concerned about this as we are.”
Resident Mike Rudolph agreed, adding he feels the town is taking the taxes of those in Selkirk, who get nothing in return. He called for deadlines to be set and for town officials to come back and report on the progress being made on the project.
“I’m asking you, Mr. Supervisor, do the job and get it done,” he said.
Clarkson promised to not let the issue drop, but added that does not mean the project would be finished within the next year.
Bethlehem Director of Economic Development and Planning Michael Morelli also gave a short presentation on the Selkirk Bypass. He said the town is looking into the project once again because the government may pull back the $7 million grant the town received several years ago for its creation.
Previous proposals had failed because residents didn’t like the route suggested because it would bring trucks off the main roads and closer to their homes. The plan would also disrupt traffic patterns.
Morelli said they are once again looking for feedback from residents to move the project forward.
Also at the meeting were representatives from CSX Transportation, who addressed concerns from residents that have cropped up since the company’s Selkirk site expanded several years ago.
Maurice O’Connell, vice president of Government Relations for CSX, said the Selkirk site is one of the most important rail hubs for the company, with 70 trains a day passing the area.
“Over the last 10 years, I think we can safely say the railroad has experienced a renaissance,” he said. “There’s a big interest in getting truck traffic off the highways and onto the railroad for a number of reasons. One being we are the most efficient way to move goods on land.”