LOWVILLE The town of Lowville has paved a previously abandoned road to help entice additional development and improve safety at a housing complex that caters to Fort Drum soldiers.
Its safer for us, and its safer for traffic, town Highway Superintendent Richard T. Dening said.
The town over the summer spent $19,986 to prepare and put down a base coat of pavement on Ebbly Road, a 1,400-foot street which provides access from Route 26 to the Maple Run Homes housing complex.
Adding a topcoat of hot asphalt would probably more than double the cost, and that wont be done immediately, Mr. Dening said.
I could get by with whats there for two or three years, he said.
James Coffman, president of the Long Island company that is building the homes, last year asked the town to re-establish and pave the road which had been abandoned by the town in the late 1960s and handle snow removal from all roads within the complex. Maple Run did not have the manpower and equipment to continue handling all the snow removal, particularly for an exponentially larger development, he told the council.
Town officials, citing the boost in tax base from continued expansion of the development, ultimately agreed to the proposal, and the town last winter handled snow removal along Ebbly Road and the developments other street, Emi Lane.
The towns paving of Ebbly Road and the developers doing likewise with Emi Lane should make plowing safer and better, Mr. Dening said.
While town crews have to go a mile or two out of the way to plow the housing development, Mr. Dening said he doesnt believe the added snow removal expense is overly costly to the town, particularly in light of Maple Runs fiscal benefits.
The development, which started in 2007, is working on its 22nd residence, with some built as two-family townhouses and others as single-family ranch houses, Mr. Dening said. Nearly all of the finished units have been sold, and several more homes are also proposed on the 30-acre parcel, which was purchased from the Pratt-Northam Foundation, Lowville.
Mr. Coffman has marketed his homes to Fort Drum soldiers, and they have purchased many of them, despite being about 20 miles from the Army post.
Its a nice, appealing place, Mr. Dening said. Its a nice view.
Mr. Coffman last year also revealed plans to purchase an additional 73 acres from Pratt-Northam and an individual owner and potentially add 80 more houses on that land, assuming favorable market conditions and the towns agreeing to road improvements and snow removal.
The developer has turned over Emi Lane to the town and plans to do the same with Kamryn Street when homes are built and occupied along that new roadway, Mr. Dening said.
The highway superintendent said he is working with state Department of Transportation officials to get Ebbly Road and Emi Lane added to the towns road inventory. That would not only add about a half-mile to the towns road mileage but also make future improvements to Ebbly Road partially reimbursable through the state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, he said.