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What you need to know for 05/23/2017

Deal brings promised sidewalk to residents of Niskayuna development

Deal brings promised sidewalk to residents of Niskayuna development

The town last month completed a sidewalk running along the north side of Consaul Road, heading west

Residents of Hummingbird Manor no longer have to walk in the roadway to run errands.

The town last month completed a sidewalk running along the north side of Consaul Road, heading west between Oakmont Street and a dead-end section of sidewalk leading from Hannaford Plaza.

James Sefcik, president of the Hummingbird Manor Homeowners Association, said the town did a great job on the work — above and beyond what it had promised.

“It really looks terrific, and most of all, it’s very helpful. I’ve probably walked on that at least several times in the last few days,” he said.

Residents had lobbied for completion of the sidewalk because many are elderly and walk to Hannaford Plaza and back. Especially during winter, when there is snow on the ground, the residents didn’t have a lot of room to walk.

“We saw people in wheelchairs going up there, people with walkers,” Sefcik said.

The developer of Hummingbird Manor was originally supposed to build the sidewalk as part of the project in 2001. The entire project was built out in 2008, but the sidewalk had not been completed.

“You could walk all the way to Balltown Road on the sidewalk that was there ahead of time, except for this last part near our home,” Sefcik said.

The town took the matter to court and received a default judgment in the case.

Sefcik said the town also did a nice job landscaping the property.

“A lot of people have said that it looks like a park,” he said. “We were looking for a sidewalk; we wound up with a park.”

Sefcik thanked town Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw for her work to negotiate a deal. The association is paying for the materials, a cost of about $5,500, and the town put in about $10,000 worth of labor.

It will not cost homeowners any more money. Sefcik said the association charges a monthly fee that pays for items such as snow removal, maintenance and lawn care.

“Over the years, a surplus has built up. We budgeted for that sidewalk to come out of that,” he said.

McGraw said she met Sefcik for coffee one day and was able to hammer out a deal within five minutes.

“They had always wanted this. They thought the developer was going to put it in, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t,” she said.

She said the sidewalk is an attractive addition to the neighborhood. It will look even better when the grass grows.

“The sidewalk itself looks like it’s always been there,” she said.

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