196 sidewalk tripping hazards to be repaired in W’burg
196 places on Williamsburg sidewalks that could potentially cause people to trip will soon be repaired.
During its monthly meeting Monday, the Williamsburg City Council voted unanimously to pay Precision Concrete $13,000 to repair 196 “trip hazards.”
Mayor Roddy Harrison said that Precision Concrete, which made similar repairs to other city sidewalks this past spring, recently did a study and found 265 places in sidewalks that it identified as trip hazards.
196 of those trip hazards that range in height from one-quarter an inch to two inches in height will be repaired by the company using a grinding method.
The area where the repairs are being made encompasses the sidewalks from Second to Fifth Street and between Main Street and the stop sign at W.D. Bryant & Sons hardware store.
Harrison said this work can be done in almost any weather, including snow, and he suspects that Precision Concrete will probably start the repairs relatively soon.
Councilman Loren Connell added that the repairs encompass the routes where three 5-K races and a one-mile race all take place.
As for the remaining 65 trip hazards that are taller than two inches, Harrison said those repairs would have to wait until spring, and will be done as municipal road aid funds become available. The worst ones will be fixed first.
The remaining tripping hazards will have to be repaired the old fashioned and expensive way, which involves tearing up that portion of the sidewalk and then pouring fresh concrete.
Also during Monday’s monthly meeting, the council heard from Maria Harrison, who is a member of the historical and architectural committee, which recently formed in Williamsburg.
Maria Harrison said that the group’s charter calls for it to meet every three months but because of the amount of work to be done the committee has decided to meet once a month for the first year.
Maria Harrison said that the committee voted decided to expand the historical district’s boundaries.
The historical district was initially largely to be composed of buildings between Cumberland Avenue and Sycamore Street starting at the Main Street Bridge and going up to the railroad crossing.
The district has now been expanded up Main Street to in order to take in the Walden’s home, which is located at the junction of 10th and Main Street.
In addition various buildings on the University of the Cumberlands’ campus have been added including: Roburn Hall, the Anderson Building, the Grey Brick Building, the Gatliff Building and the old college gym.
The committee will now have to complete surveys on each historical building within the boundaries. One university professor is considering having their class assist with the effort.
Maria Harrison said that the committee will be seeking a lot of public input, and that it won’t mandate that property owners follow their recommendations once the historical district is in place.
Maria Harrison said she thinks most of the property owners will follow the recommendations though because they will want to get tax credits for doing work on buildings located in the historical district.
Roddy Harrison added that it is possible the city may try to come up with some incentives to get property owners to clean-up rundown buildings.
In addition, during Monday’s meeting Roddy Harrison commended the council members on their recent re-election.
“I think what that says is that the city is happy,” Roddy Harrison noted.
In other business, the council:
• Announced that city hall would be closed Nov. 24-25 for Thanksgiving.
• Discussed the REACH Alert system, which is designed to alert local residents in the event of an emergency, inclement weather or lengthy traffic delays. The system was implemented in September.
To sign up or receive the alerts is free.
Up to four devices per household can be registered to receive alerts.
The system is similar to the automated calling system that several local school districts already have in place.
Harrison said there is a link on the city’s website, www.williamsburgky.com, that people can click on to start the registration process.
Williamsburg residents can also register by going to www.reachalert.com.
“It takes less than one minute to register,” Harrison said. “You can choose between a voice call, if you just have a land line, or you can have text, if you have a cell phone, or you can have e-mail if you have a computer.”
Councilwoman Patty Faulkner noted that she thinks the REACH Alert system will be particularly valuable this winter to inform people about inclement weather, road closures and so forth.