At last week's Bennington City Council meeting, members of the Ridgewood Homeowners Association expressed their support for a new sidewalk to connect the neighborhood with the rest of Bennington. This sidewalk would address a major safety concern for pedestrians, including students walking to school, along Bennington Road at Tim Ohrt Park.
The Council and the Mayor unanimously supported the sidewalk project and directed the city engineer to create a formal design. The Council did ask the homeowners association to contribute funding for the portion of the sidewalk on the neighborhood's outlouts along Ashwood Drive. The anticipated cost would be less than $100 per Ridgewood homeowner. The City will cover the cost for most of the sidewalk, which would run along the public park.
While nothing is final, this project is moving forward with the goal of having it done before the next school year begins.
In other business at last week's meeting:
Audit: The city's 2017-2018 audit report held no big surprises. In a nutshell, Bennington met its budget target and sits on a healthy cash reserve. The cash reserve is actually larger than typical for a city like ours; however, with many street projects on the horizon, including 156th Street, a healthy cash reserve will be essential.
156th Street: While construction will wait until the summer of 2020, some residents may start getting notices from utilities. Cable lines and others will need to be moved before the project starts.
City office auction: The old city office sold for $146,750 after a strong show of interest and plenty of bidders at the Feb. 16 auction.
Newport Vista: Citing market conditions, the developer for the housing southwest of 168th Street and Bennington Road has decided to proceed in two phases: the first half right away, the second half as the market allows.
New Chief of Police: Our advisory committee of law enforcement officers has recommended four qualified candidates for Bennington's new Chief of Police. I will join the panel for interviewing these candidates in the final week of March. If you have any ideas or concerns regarding Bennington's police force, now's a great time to talk about those.
For full meeting minutes and agendas, click here.
Lastly, if you are looking for a way to help flood victims in our neighboring communities: