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Mayor's Report for October 2002

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Repairing Damaged Sidewalks

By Mayor Michael Herman

Here in Riverdale Park we are fortunate to have an ever expanding tree canopy. Although efforts have been underway for years to plant trees in the public right of way that have deeper seeking roots, there are still many sidewalks that have been damaged by tree roots and have become dangerous. It is the town's obligation to fix these dangerous walkways to prevent falls and to encourage pedestrians to walk safely throughout the town. In years past, a small handful of sidewalk sections were repaired each year. However, there are so many sections which pose serious threats and we have a plan to remedy that.

Public Works Department Director Jim Houser recently completed a town-wide survey of those sidewalk sections that are most in need of repair to fix dangerous conditions in the community. The current list, although not exhaustive, includes more than 200 sidewalk sections in need of repair that were identified by the walking survey or calls placed to the Public Works Department in the past few months. The list was the subject of Town Council discussion at the September work session. Each councilmember is reviewing those areas within their ward to determine whether the list is complete and accurate. Additions to the list can still be made. The purpose of this initiative is not primarily to begin cosmetic concrete work, but to repair dangerous conditions that exist. Just using the current list, the cost of removal and replacement of these sidewalk sections will likely be $10,000 to $12,000. Naturally, the cost will increase as more sections are added to the list. It has been proposed that we take $9,800 from the special projects budget category to complete this work. Any additions will likely come from the Infrastructure Trust Fund which was created this past year with a down payment by WSSC for roadwork repair to streets damaged by recent water relining projects.

If you have or know of a concrete sidewalk section and want to verify whether it was included in the initial list, please contact your council representative to discuss the matter. This issue will be discussed at the October 7, 2002 Legislative Session of the Town Council. If you would like to voice support or opposition to the project or its scope, please attend that meeting or discuss it with your council representative before the meeting. Public input is eagerly requested to ensure that all dangerous conditions have been identified and slated for repair. Thank you for your cooperation.

9-11 Commemoration

I want to thank the Police and Fire Departments, as well as Councilmembers Christina and Wendall Davis for their time and dedication in the planning, preparation and contributions to the 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony held at the town hall in September. Thank you also to Pastor Ben Slye and the many ministries of Riverdale (MORE) for making this a respectful and appropriate commemoration of the 9-11 tragedy. Thank you to those members of the public for joining us so we could grieve and be consoled as a community united.

In Deepest Sympathy

The Mayor and Council wish to extend their deepest sympathy to the families of:

Mr. Alvin Minetree, age 92, of 4903 Nicholson Street. A 42-year resident.

Mrs. Marcelene Bilodeau, age 81, of 6307 51st Avenue. A resident for over 50 years.

Ms. Mary Lou Suden, age 51, of 6310 45th Place. A 25-year resident.

They were all very special individuals and will be sorely missed by their passing.

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