N.B. sidewalk plans fall through cracks PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor   
Thursday, 08 November 2012 11:51
North Baltimore students walk home down Maple Street after school on Wednesday (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
NORTH BALTIMORE - Village council members were called to task Tuesday for not putting in sidewalks near the new North Baltimore Middle/High School.
Norma Lopez, who lives at the intersection of Gillette and Maple streets, told council that students have to walk in the street to and from school because there are no sidewalks along the route near the school.
"I don't have any kids, but I don't want anyone hurt either," she stated.
Councilman Bill Cameron agreed with Lopez, stating construction of the new school took years and the board did nothing about sidewalks.
"It's been three years, and we're still talking about it," said Mayor Mike Julien.
The posted speed along Maple Street is 25 miles per hour, and Julien suggested additional signs in that area would be a good idea.
"It's a nightmare," Cameron said about the number of middle and high school students walking in that area.
According to village Administrator, 74 students walk to school in the morning, and 174 walk home in the afternoon.
"I don't know the percentage of students driving or taking the bus or walking," said Dr. Robert Falkenstein this morning.
Cameron asked Doug Wickard, head of the street department, to make Maple Street a priority when clearing the streets when snow falls.
"It would be nice if we had sidewalks," said Falkenstein about the issue.
He pointed out students are getting safely to school by walking in the grass.
Part of the sidewalk issue is students going north, from the school entrance to Quarry Road. "That's where we have a sidewalk issue."
The school is flanked by Maple Street to the south, Rudolph Road to the west, and a field to the east.
Discussion on the topic will continue at Tuesday's committee of the whole meeting which will start at 5:30 p.m. at the village hall.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, council passed a resolution as a "real and present emergency" to spend $75,000 to repaint the interior of the water tower on Grant Road.
The contract, with L.C. United Painting, of Sterling Heights, is a continuation of the initial contract approved in early October for $50,500 to have the tower cleaned and repainted.
But when the tower was emptied, it showed the interior had severely deteriorating paint on the surface, which was not evident when the original contract was awarded. The answer is to sandblast the entire interior bowl surface, and put three protective coatings of paint on it, all of which was not included in the original contract.
The "real and present emergency" clause waives the formal competitive bidding requirement to enter the contract.
Chet Marcin, village legal council, said in his 35 years, he's only seen a "real and present emergency" resolution a couple times.
The resolution is to avoid any unnecessary delay in completing the project. Meanwhile, the village will depend on its water tower on Jewett Avenue to provide water to residents.

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