Friday, August 28, 2009

Mayoral Candidates Address Downtown Challenges

Two mayoral hopefuls in recent weeks had their eyes on downtown Milford, offering suggestions about how to address a dangerous sidewalk and excessive pigeon droppings.

Peter Spalthoff, the Independent Party candidate, said he planned to fix what he described as a dangerous lip in a sidewalk near his Broad Street office himself because the situation has not been addressed.

Spalthoff said several people have fallen because of about an inch rise between two five-by-six-foot concrete pads that make up the sidewalk.

“I’m gong to have it taken care of so no one else falls,” Spalthoff said, explaining that his builder plans to give him a price on digging up and replacing one of the pads.

Spalthoff, whose Shoreline Mortgage office faces Broad Street, said he recently saw an older woman fall. And Ed Esposito, who was walking down the sidewalk last week with his dog, said he’s tripped on the lip three times.

He said he called the city about the problem, but according to Public Works Director Bruce Kolwicz, it’s the property owner’s job to keep the sidewalk in a safe condition.

In some situations, sidewalk repairs fall to the city, but in this case, it falls to property owner Joseph Voll.

“I talked to Joseph Voll,” Kolwicz said. “I told him he had to fix it, and he said, ‘No problem,’” Kolwicz said.

At the same time, petition candidate Tim Chaucer, a Democrat, said he called the city’s health department about excessive pigeon droppings on a sidewalk area just beyond that lip.

“Why is it that in the heart of downtown Milford, i.e. on the sidewalk in front of Harrison’s Hardware, we have an ongoing pigeon poop and feather health hazard,” Chaucer stated in a letter to the local papers.

“Pigeons sit in an area between the gutter and canopy of the building,” he wrote. “Has the owner been notified by the health department? The Heberts have been complaining about this for many months. The health department could notify the owner that this is a health hazard and insist the canopy be removed and even the gutter where the pigeons sit.”

Chaucer also expressed concern about the lip in the sidewalk and suggested the city correct the problem.

Jill Dion Original Story

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