The Putnam Examiner

Bikeway Advertising Plan Dead

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: The Putnam County Legislature’s Physical Services Committee discussed plans for quarter-mile makers on the Putnam County Trailway on July 22.
: The Putnam County Legislature’s Physical Services Committee discussed plans for quarter-mile makers on the Putnam County Trailway on July 22.

A controversial plan to place advertisements on the Putnam County Trailway is dead.
In a letter read during the July 22 meeting of the Putnam County Legislature’s Physical Service Committee, Bikepath Country stated it was pulling out of a potential deal with the county, which was rejected by a 5-4 vote at the July meeting of the full legislature.
In its letter to County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Bikepath Country officials stated, “At this time, it has been decided by our board of directors that it is in the best business interest to focus in the areas where we have agreements in place.” Applause broke out following the reading of the letter by County Legislature Chairman Richard Othmer.
The idea of placing signs with advertising on the 11-mile path divided the legislature and brought much criticism from the public. The legislature looked ready to approve the plan at a meeting earlier this month, but Othmer’s last-minute change from a yes to a no vote put the agreement on hold and eventually led to the company’s withdrawal.
While the plan to place ads on the Trailway will not go forward, legislators and Odell agreed on July 22 that the county should move ahead with plants to place markers at each quarter-mile of the path. The quarter mile markers would be used to provide reference points in the event of an accident or other emergencies.
County Legislator Sam Oliverio Jr., an outspoken critic of Odell’s plan to enter into an agreement with Bikepath Country, said the county needed to move quickly to install the markers. “Because the urgency of the mile markers seems so intense and has been stressed by both our emergency services people and our county executive, then I would like to see the county take its full responsibility. That’s why government was set up, (for) the health and safety of the people,” Oliverio said.
County Commissioner of Emergency Services Adam B. Stiebeling outlined three potential quarter-mile marker plans. The quarter-mile markers could provide location information that would be placed in the GPS systems of the county 911 system and the computer systems of other emergency responders, he said.
One recommendation could be to add to the current markers already on the trail which would cost $910 for the markers, with additional cost of labor, maintenance and replacement of stolen signs, Stiebeling said.
A second recommendation for 44 aluminum signs placed in concrete, at a cost of about $221 for each of the 44 marker, Stiebeling said.
A third option Stiebeling outlined could be for the county to purchase plastic and polymer signs at a cost of $3,600 for all 44 signs. But he stressed not to buy those signs because there because screens would have to be placed on the signs at an additional costs.
The legislators did not make a decision on how to go forward with the installation of the quarter-mile markers, but did agree to have the project undertaken in the near future.


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