Letter: Selkirk residents have heard enough excuses on issues

It seems that none of the 35 Portland city government attorneys had any problem with this as a liability issue (yes, I counted). Perhaps they operate under a different judicial system.

In regards to the cost of the automatic pedestrian gate proposed by our engineer for a cost $500,000 - instead of contacting the firm of Dewey, Cheatum & Howe for an estimate as it was done - I decided to do another 5 minutes of research. Again - amazingly the answer - the estimate is too high! In fact my research shows that the town of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin in 2013 installed for railroad safety - 25 sidewalk “Stop for Train” decals, 28 metal yield “Look for Train” signs, 15 new railroad sign posts, five pedestrian railroad gates, an entire railroad crossing with lights and bells and 8,000 feet of railroad track fencing all for $1.3 million! ... and we get one gate for $500,000!

On this issue the town supervising board has become the voice of 'why it cannot be done' rather than 'how do we get it done'. I would be glad to supply the town board, supervisor, legal counsel & engineering any of my research along with a list of Portland's attorney's names if truly they are interested.

The last segment of the meeting concerns $7 million given to the town by NYS for the proposed Selkirk bypass - a project which has been in the planning stages for 20 odd years. Due to inaction by the town, the state wants their (our) taxpayer money back (the nerve).

Now the town reacts by wanting to have a community meeting to discuss the southern Selkirk bypass road, the only option which can be funded for the $7 million. It should be noted to the board that if they took the time to read the minutes of all past meetings held on this issue, they would realize that it would be a waste of time. We the people have already voiced our opposition to taking the road from our front yards and placing it in our backyards. The Selkirk residents have previously decided that the only viable options to eliminate truck traffic was to either have the bypass redirected to Clapper Road or Wemple Road, neither of which the state will fund. At this time I am suggesting that the town give the taxpayer's money back to the state - perhaps the state will be able to find a neighborhood that needs something done, like installing safe sidewalks.

Richard Zaranko


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february 2 years, 12 months ago

I have lived in Selkirk for 35 years. I have asking the Town of Bethlehem to help obtain sewer for my street. First I was told to wait till more houses were built. So I believed the town and waited. Then I was advised to wait till the land in back of me was sub-divided because a new road would be created and then we could finally hook up to the sewer lines on rt. 9w. I was also told to get more residents involved which would help with the cost. The town of Bethlehem gave us a meeting resulting only to hear it would cost 6.5 MILLON dollars. A figure I believe is untrue and given to us to stop this request. Your story regarding sidewalks and the Selkirk bypass are just more examples which clearly show what is unfair in regards to the town of Bethlehem helping,caring and understanding the concerns of residents in the hamlet of Selkirk. I feel the residents of Selkirk must come together and demand help from the town of Bethlehem.


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