Saturday, July 6, 2024

Sidewalk Improvement Project Update

The Public Works Board has been debating whether to hire an individual or a consulting firm to help scope, prioritize, and carry out the sidewalk improvement project. Apparently, at the last meeting of the Public Works Board, which took place on June 27, but could not be accessed virtually despite being advertised as a hybrid meeting, a decision was made. The Public Works Board has decided they want Crawford & Associates to act as project manager.


On Monday, July 8, at 5:30 p.m., the Common Council is holding a special meeting to consider a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with Crawford & Associates "for work in relation to the initial planning phase [of] sidewalk construction and repairs at an amount not to exceed $20,000. The tasks they are to carry out include:
  • Review of the Hyman Hayes ADA Accessibility Audit
  • Meetings with the Public Works Board to determine initial priorities and phases for construction and repair
  • Re-evaluation of existing conditions
  • Field research for use in preparing tax assessment values
  • Development of method for calculation of tax assessment values and prepare draft values using GIS data obtained from County Real Property Office and field data
  • Provide a report identifying subsequent phases and recommendations for steps necessary to advance project
The special meeting on Monday is a hybrid, taking place in person at City Hall and on Microsoft Teams. Click here for the link to join the meeting remotely.
COPYRIGHT 2024 CAROLE OSTERINK

14 comments:

  1. The parent inability of our government to accomplish anything in something like a timely manner makes me question its structure. It’s time for a change.

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    1. Hudson City Hall's structure is flawed by design. Ergo the dysfunction. This may always be the case. A city with a corrupt past never gets completely out from under that cloud unless it starts over from scratch.
      Go ask the mayor where DPW Superintendent Rob Perry's office is. Then try to find Mr. Perry. If you do find Mr. Perry behind a desk, which would be a miracle, ask him why he no longer works from the DPW offices on the 2nd floor of City Hall.
      That's all the evidence you need that things are FUBAR at City Hall. And the mayor knows it -- he is deep in the mire and can't get out or do anything of import (if he were capable of it in the first place...). Ask Tiffany Hamilton -- if she were to level with you, she would tell you how screwed up things were at 520 Warren and how difficult or impossible it was to get anything accomplished. I think she got out because it was so ugly. Rick felt it too, I know it.
      I worked at City Hall/HPD for a few months. Oh, the stories I have!

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  2. Let me see if I get this straight: they're having a meeting, to approve (C&A) a review of an audit, schedule other meetings, review existing conditions, schedule research, develop draft tax values and provide a report. At the end of the day we will have spent $20K and all we'll end up with is a report that will tell us what they next steps should be? No mention of the subsequent arguments that will take place over the priorities and phases, which harkens back to the DRI workshop days. And still the sidewalks will sit in disrepair.

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  3. My retirement plan is to stumble and sue the city for $6.7 million.

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    1. How can you sue the city when the sidewalks are the property owners responsibility?

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    2. Stumble over the nasty sidewalk tripping hazard in front of the Youth Center and the city is liable for your injuries or death if you take them to court. Same goes for the beauty of a hazard in front of the city's Union Street parking lot. How about all the hazards in the pocket parks and the narrow sidewalk in front of City Hall? How about the vacant city owned lot at 518 Columbia with one of the worst sidewalks on the entire block, if not the worst. Fall over any of these hazards and you can take the city to court, as you should. The city will have no defense and will settle out of court. That's how you can sue the city -- just show the evidence that they have perfected the example of unsafe sidewalks all over the city.

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  4. Outsourcing such a big project is probably not going to work out too well. Next thing you know, the parking committee will decide to outsource the new parking system instead of hiring a supervisor with an office and a salary and who would be available at all times. Maybe even someone local who gives a hoot.
    The sidewalk improvement model that the city has been motivated by comes from Ithaca, NY. I guarantee they did not outsource someone to get the ball rolling and manage the project. In fact, there is a person on staff in the Ithaca DPW Engineering Division whose primary (or possibly sole) responsibility is to see that the sidewalk program never falters. It is an ongoing project -- it's never finished.
    Hudson is just not up to the task. Maybe Crawford will be, but I have my doubts. At some point, the city had better hire someone or it will be throwing good money at bad.

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    1. The City of Hudson's 2023 budget was about $11M. Ithaca's was $90M. This is an unserious comparison. Further, in no world is it less expensive to create a new civil service position--which brings with it benefits and a pension--than it is to 'outsource' (i.e., 'hire experts'). It's a $20,000 project. Advocating instead for a $50k a year position (and good luck filling that with our housing costs) is ludicrous.

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    2. It is not a "$20,000 project."
      Far from it. This is a small fraction of what the project will cost. These funds cover the first baby steps. When this $20,000 is paid to Crawford, how quickly will they be asking for more, do you suppose and how quickly will the council agree to it?

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    3. Crawford responded to an RFP for this phase of the project and no others. The resolution language includes 'not to exceed $20,000'. That's all the vote was on; finding a project manager for *this phase* of the project. To my knowledge there is no contract in place or being considered/voted on beyond this phase. Crawford may not be involved in the project after this initial phase.

      None of that obviates my first post.

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  5. I hope the city can figure out how to get back on track in regard to the meetings being broadcast virtually and getting put up on youtube. Since M. Hoffman left, things have been bad. The recent truck committee meeting and the parking committee meeting are nowhere to be found. This is not good for accountability.
    Mr. Depietro -- If you're going to do it, do it right. If you are having trouble, tell the public and the council the truth. It's not a good optic.

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  6. The elephant in the room, or in city hall, is this: There is no space for any more offices in city hall. If there is to be a sidewalk tsar, where on earth is that person's office going to be located? A true parking department with a supervisor? "Sorry, no space, we're full." If it weren't for available space in the Firestation on 7th street, Craig Haigh and Code Enforcment (3 or 4 total employees) would still be paying two thousand dollars a month in rent for an office in the 700 block of Warren Street. CEO wasn't able to occupy an office at 520 Warren Street when they left their office in the 400 block of Warren because there was nothing available at City Hall. There hasn't been a decent sized office available at City Hall for forever and there never will be unless they all move out to a bigger building.
    Maybe this factored into the Public Works Committee's decision to outsource. Let's face it, city administration has outgrown 520 Warren Street. It may have been an ideal City Hall up until 10 years ago, but it no longer is. Two years ago I heard the mayor say he was going to figure out a way to create a Parks Department. Is that so, Kamal? Still working on that one? Still looking for an empty office to house that department?

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  7. Just take ownership people. Your sidewalk, your responsibility. The only area I would be ok contributing to, would be Warren Street.

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    1. Contrary to what many people believe, I don't know the real identity of people who comment on Gossips. But a little sleuthing suggests that "Lew" may live in an area of Hudson where there are no sidewalks.

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