The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

November 3, 2012

Capital idea may take some doing

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — Sidney Central School Superintendent Bill Christensen said a lot of work has to go into deciding on rescheduling the Sidney Central School capital project vote that was postponed Oct. 30 bdue to a storm that was scheduled to hit the area. 

When the decision was made “we were expecting the worst” and when Delaware County, along with Chenango County, declared states of emergency “we felt it best to cancel our vote.” At 6 p.m. on Monday, the district started to communicate its decision.

“We realize not everyone received a phone call, but we took every action possible to communicate the canceled vote to our residents,” he said. 

In order to reschedule the vote, the process must start over, he said. This includes rebuilding the financials with current information. Once that is completed, the board of education can consider calling for another vote. That considering could happen Nov. 6. If that is the case, the 45-day waiting period will start, legal notices will be posted, newsletters completed, and advertising of the vote will take place. A vote will not take place until at least middle to late December.

A recent effort by several people in the community, and beyond, will lead to a safer walking path in Masonville. 

A project to repair the damaged Church Street bridge in the hamlet was completed Oct. 13. The town had planned to replace the bridge’s wooden planks next year. But Church Street resident Tommy Klehr decided to see what he could do to make it happen sooner. 

He said he was pleased with the community response that resulted in local businessman David Barnes donating the services of his crew. Klehr said he was impressed that “people came together for a common good.” 

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic for about 10 years, Masonville Supervisor Michael Spaccaforno said. He had contacted the Finger Lakes Trail Conference that agreed to donate the $1,500 needed to replace the wood, a couple of months ago. The group maintains more than 500 miles of trail in the state. The bridge is on that route. The wood had deteriorated last summer to the point where the town put yellow tape across the bridge to keep people off. 

Regional Finger Lakes Trail coordinator Don Sutherland came to survey the situation, and the group had agreed to fund the project for next year. Klehr did all the legwork to get the project done earlier, with donated labor, instead of town employees, Spaccaforno said. He said he was glad Klehr and other got involved with the community project. “This is the way it used to be.” 

Barnes, owner of Masonville Stone, said he also lives on Church Street, but he would have been involved, anyway, after he was contacted in September by Klehr. “In a small community you do what needs to be done,” he said. He worked with a crew from his business on the project.

It was important to make sure people were safe when using the bridge, especially with Halloween coming up, he said. 

Finger Lakes Trail vice president for trail maintenance, Steve Catherman, said the group saw the opportunity as “a great chance to get exposure,” for its efforts and help out. 

After Klehr contacted the group, money was found in the current budget to get the job done now. “He certainly helped it along,” Catherman said. 

Barnes’ crew will not need any help in doing the work, Klehr said. But “if they need anything,” he said he will be available.

MARK BOSHNACK can be reached at