Cape Charles budgeted $20,000 to build sidewalks in spots where they are currently missing. 5-10% of the overall total still needs to be built. The Town selected two areas, one near the Pine Street Pump Station lot and also a section on Strawberry Street near Central Park. The Pine Street lot has 100 feet of length on Monroe Ave, and around 140 feet on Pine. There are two handicap cuts on the curbs there. While the work on Pine and Monroe is fairly straight forward, the Strawberry Street location proved to be more challenging. There are 3 utility poles located in the proposed path of the Strawberry Street sidewalk. One pole belongs to ANEC, the other two belong to Verizon. The town has received an estimate from ANEC of $5,328.25 to move their pole. No word has been received from Verizon at this time.
With the Strawberry Street power pole in the way, Public Works Director Dave Fauber suggested to break up the work. “Do the pine street project first, and what other money is left over, start doing these poles. ANEC would remove that pole for around $5000 dollars,” Fauber said.
Steve Bennett, via letter said, “How wide are these sidewalks? I would dare say not more than 4 feet. This pricing is very high for this bid, and why do we have to pay 5000 to move an ANEC utility pole. That also seems like a lot. My inclination is to not award the contract to Browder-Hite”.
Fauber noted that the sidewalks are actually 5 feet wide.
“I can’t see moving the pole at all, and you’re not going to be pouring concrete across the alleyway,” said Councilman Sambo Brown.
Councilman Tom Godwin questioned whether Fauber or staff had the expertise to oversee the work, “Do you understand anything about concrete work, and the quality that needs to go into it?”
“I understand the specifications and how it is supposed to be installed,” Fauber said.”I understand some of your concerns because of some the sidewalks that were installed when VDOT was here. Unfortunately, the worst of it was right over there by the Post Office. But this particular crew, they are very good.”
Mayor Proto asked, “Is that pole in the VDOT right of way? I think the answer has to be yes.”
Fauber, “I would tend to doubt it.”
Wendell, “How can it not be if the right of way if everything from the sidewalk to the curb is VDOT.”
Fauber, “There is 12 to 15 feet from the curb to the sidewalk, which is not typical of Cape Charles.”
Wendell, “But if it was in the right of way, wouldn’t we have some leverage in getting it funded to move it?”
Proto, “I was thinking VDOT could get ANEC to move it since they put it in the wrong spot. It’s not where VDOT says it’s supposed to be, shouldn’t ANEC be the ones to move it? The other pole is not on the sidewalk, they’re wonky. ”
Wendell, “My concern is that sidewalks are the charm of Cape Charles. In general, they line up pretty good. Is there anyway to get this thing to line up, to maybe build a curve around on the other side that goes around it (pole), something that makes it look like it’s part of the design rather than we couldn’t figure out how to orchestrate a straight sidewalk.”
Councilwoman Natali made a motion to award the Pine Street portion of the contract,but hold off on the Strawberry Street section.
“We have issues and we don’t understand all the implications, about moving poles and we have to pay money for that, I’d rather not vote on that until we know the details,” Natali said.
“I think we need to explore options,” Wendell said.
The motion to award the Pine Street part of the contact passed, while work on Strawberry Street will be tabled until the issue with power and communication poles can be resolved.