Members of the Jamaica Selectboard look over maps for the town’s sidewalk project after a resident raised concern over the island. (Chris
Members of the Jamaica Selectboard look over maps for the town's sidewalk project after a resident raised concern over the island. (Chris Mays/Reformer)
Tuesday May 21, 2013

JAMAICA -- The underground wiring near the Jamaica Community Church will now be funded by the Lady Benefit Society instead of the town, according to an announcement at the May 13 Selectboard meeting.

"They saw that we were going to dig up a trench," said Selectboard member Lou Bruso, who suggested the idea of burying the wires while replacing the sidewalks in that area. "They thought it was a worthwhile endeavor."

Bruso told the rest of the board that the Lady Benefit Society asked if it could donate funds to complete the project. In return, the organization would put up a plaque or symbol of remembrance.

Jamaica Selectboard Chairwoman Lexa Clark said this would be "going full circle," referring to when the initial sidewalks were laid down. The Lady Benefit Society funded that project decades ago.

"They've been doing work for almost 100 years and they would like to highlight it," said Bruso.

The Selectboard had approved putting the wires underground after Bruso proposed the idea at the last two board meetings. He thought the job might as well be done while the construction company is in Jamaica replacing the sidewalks.

During Bruso's sidewalk update, a resident raised concern over the island that is part of the new sidewalk construction. He said that backing out of his driveway with his tractor trailer-truck would be an issue due to the island, which has been lengthened during sidewalk construction.

"The sidewalk does slope out," he said. "These kinds of curbs eat tires."

The resident's tractor trailer fits fine when it is being driven into his driveway but getting out was the issue. He said the construction on the island had created a point, which makes it overall larger in size.

Bruso said the engineering would have to re-design the entire island. Changing the project now seemed unlikely as the Selectboard looked over a map outlining the sidewalk reconstruction.

Certain trees were another issue that came up during sidewalk construction. VTrans and the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation discovered four trees along Main Street. The concern is for the trees' roots.

Aborists came to the site to make sure the roots were protected during digging in the ground. Some sections of the sidewalk were moved closer to homes to make sure the digging did not affect the roots.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.