The Poynette Village Board discussed some preliminary plans for upgrades to village sidewalks in correlation with the new elementary school at their regular meeting April 8.

Kory Anderson, village engineer, spoke about a series of possible upgrades the village could take on. North Street was one identified as needing an upgrade. In the most recently plans submitted by the School District of Poynette, they plan on extending 50 feet of sidewalk north to North Street on the west side of Main Street as part of the referendum, along with a six-foot wide asphalt path in front of the property on North Street.

To avoid having elementary-aged students walking in the road, Anderson said they will need to complete a sidewalk path stretching from Water Town Road to Highway 51. This is recommended to be completed by August 2020 when the school is set to open.

Anderson also proposed updates to the Colby subdivision so elementary students have the ability to walk to school. Currently, there is four-foot sidewalks on both sides of the west end of Colby Boulevard and Sunset Drive. An update would add sidewalk on the eastern end to Seward Street.

This upgrades would also be the most challenging on the north side of these streets, he said, due to the slope on the road and driveways. The south side, however, would not be as challenging and would be a necessary addition.

These additions would eventually connect to Seward Street, which Anderson also proposed adding a four-foot sidewalk to the east and west side up to North Street.

If the village would like to move forward with having sidewalks ready for the school year, Anderson said they will need to at least do the south sides of Colby and Sunset connecting to Seward, as well at North Street. If they didn’t have connecting street by the beginning of the 2020 school year, the school district would have to provide a bus for the students.

Along with these, Poynette has a grant application for the north portion of the trail running between Seward Street and Grant Street. In a memo to the board, Anderson said he does recommend improving the leg of the trail between Colby Boulevard up to North Street because there would not be a safe cross spot mid-block.

General Engineering Company provided preliminary estimates for the various street upgrades. Sidewalk on Seward and the south side of Colby and Sunset would be around $142,000; a six-foot asphalt path along North Street would cost around $131,000; and sidewalk on the north side of Colby and Sunset as well as the west side of Seward would be around $154,000.

Anderson said the Village Board could choose to pay for the entire project or assess the property owners. Village Administrator Martin Shanks said they will be talking about the 2020 capital budget in June and that will be a good time to determine if it should be part of the annual budget.

No official decision was made but Village President Diana Kaschinske said she would like Anderson and Shanks to continue moving forward with these projects, as well as look into possible grants to help fund them.

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