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Village Of Lawrence Notebook: William Street Changes Still On, LCFD Contract (Amended)

Outraged residents voice concerns over approved changes to William Street.

Editor's note: The section on the fire department contract has been amended for clarity.

After a heated exchange between upset Lawrence residents and village trustees that lasted for 45 minutes, the board voted not to pass a motion that would have allowed it to reconsider its decision to widen and make it a two-way street.

Approximately ten village residents, most of whom live in The Plaza residences, located at 360 Central Avenue, attended the meeting to voice their concerns about the plan, claiming that widening the street is unsafe and will cause a severe increase in the number of car accidents on William Street. They also expressed concerns about pulling out of their building’s driveway onto what would be a two-way street under the approved plan.

“I feel as if it’s an unsafe situation, and I’m concerned with the safety of the people in that building,” said trustee Simon Felder, who voted for the motion along with mayor Martin Oliner. “We should really reconsider.”

Trustees Michael Fragin, Joel Mael and Ed Klar abstained the vote for the motion. 

"None of these points were made last week," Fragin said, referring to the original vote to approve the proposed changes to the street. 

One community member, who lives in the aforementioned residence, urged the trustees to be financially and morally responsible for accidents that she claimed will be the result of widening the street. 

“As mayor of this village, I will consider the proceedings and try to reflect on some of the sentiment that was expressed tonight and by some of the trustees who are sitting here,” Oliner said.

Discussion of LCFD Contract Extension

The trustees voted to extend the village’s contract with the to Dec. 31, 2011.

However, the contract is still in negotiation with the fire department and nothing has been officially signed off by it.

While the board voted unanimously to have the contract extended, Fragin expressed concern that quite a few items of discussion between the village and fire department have still yet to be resolved.

Tide Gate Bids

The village received three "qualified" bids for the project to install a tide gate at the village country club. The companies competing for the bid were All Island Plumbing, RJ Industries and Fort Hill Industries. 

The trustees voted to hire All Island Plumbing for the tide gate job, as per the recommendation of building department superintendent Michael Ryder. The company will be permitted to start the project immediately. The village runs the risk of losing $44,000 from FEMA if the project is not complete in a few months.

Certification of Election Results

Village clerk David Smollet announced the results of the June 21 trustee elections, and the results were certified.

Incumbents Fragin and Mael will both return to their positions. Fragin received 85 votes while Mael received 82.

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