Letter: Support the Sport Hill Pathway

To the Editor:

I support the proposed pathway from Helen Keller to Silverman’s and we must move fast.

A few years ago, I was driving north on Sport Hill. As is often the case, a group of kids was walking along the side of the road. One of the children wandered into the road and I had to come to a full stop. I’m glad I wasn’t changing the radio station. Had the pathway been there, an incident like this would not have happened.

However, even if there wasn’t such a safety need, I would still support the pathway. With spring now here, I look out my window and see people walking, jogging, and cycling up and down my road. People want to get out and move and this pathway would provide a marvelous addition.

After receiving about one million dollars in federal grant money, the cost to the town is about $250,000. I think that’s a great deal but, according to the state website, Easton also has $582,889 in LoCIP funds available. (LoCIP is a state program to pay for municipal capital projects.) This project would qualify, so the entire project could be done at no cost to the taxpayer.

Other locations are now being suggested but our Planning and Zoning Commission has said Sport Hill Road is the best spot for a pathway. I agree with them and I think we should defer to the body whose job it is to make these plans for the town. In any case, with time running out on the grant we don’t have the necessary time. And the grant is only good for the proposed project—anything else we’d have to fund some other way. Town officials have had ample time to propose alternatives, both the Board of Selectman (September 5) and the Board of Finance (October 1) had presentations back in 2019.

It’s clear the Board of Finance has a collective ambivalence on this pathway and I respect their view. But no Board of Finance member has to change their mind. All that needs to happen is to allow the residents of Easton to vote for the special appropriation to approve the town’s share of the project and take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Adam Dunsby