Kent selectmen okay additional Streetscape design work

KENT — Responsive to residents’ comments heard during two public information sessions, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously at a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 30, to ask the contractor to incorporate adjustments into plans for Phase Two of the town’s Streetscape project.

Phase Two involves the area south and east of the Memorial monument, now that sidewalk construction work is completed for the area extending north and west from the monument.

First Selectman Jean Speck said that contractor SLR Construction has provided an estimate of $14,595 in additional costs within the design phase to accommodate residents’ suggestions that sidewalks be extended even further southward along Maple Street to allow for safe pedestrian access to the seasonal farmers’ market at the pocket park. Also under consideration are crosswalks and Lane Street sidewalks combining to create easier access to Land Trust acreage.

“We need to spend a bit of money to have SLR create drawings so residents can understand the visual impact along Maple Street,” Speck said.  A site walk with town officials and SLR representatives will be scheduled, Speck added, giving residents an opportunity to see firsthand what is being planned including the routing of drainage along Maple and Lane Streets. Residents will be notified of the date in advance of the site walk.

The town’s Land Use Administrator Donna Hayes offered a clarifying comment, noting that the town does not yet know the construction cost of the entire project. The additional funding approved is still within the design phase that occurs in advance of construction estimates.

The Swift House Task Force has moved ahead in the selection of an architect to provide a needs assessment for the historic property in the town center.

The selectmen voted unanimously to sign a contract with Silver Petrucelli and Associates of Hamden, Conn. to develop plans for renovations to bring the Swift House into ADA-compliance. The renovations would allow for public use of the property.

Zanne Charity, task force chairman, expressed concern that time had passed since the architect submitted a cost proposal of $13,900 for the assessment, leading the selectmen to approve an expenditure of up to $15,000 to be budgeted.

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