HUDSON: After lengthy discussion during it’s meeting Wednesday, City Council voted 4-to-2 to create an ad hoc advisory committee for the Connectivity Plan project.
Council President David Basil made the motion, saying that a small group of citizens and council members "would bring their expertise" to helping decide priorities for this multi-year project.
The committee would be composed of no more than four citizens and three council members. The group will work with city staff, including Assistant City Manager Scott Schroyer, who has done extensive research on sidewalk and trail connectivity.
Hudson's connectivity project, estimated to take approximately two years, has been accelerated this summer by the efforts of City Engineer Thom Sheridan and Assistant City Manager Scott Schroyer.
Sheridan, in conjunction with the Parks Department and Safe Routes Hudson, created a map and draft plan showing both existing and proposed sidewalks and trails in Hudson.
Safe Routes Hudson has concentrated most of their efforts toward the addition of sidewalks to connect outlying portions of the city to downtown.
The Parks Department is more closely concerned with creating trails that would link up recreational areas and extend trails to nearby communities such as Boston Heights, where funding of $1.46 million is being sought, for that particular leg.
The plan was presented to council in July. Consideration of how to proceed with implementation, and the prioritizing of projects has been ongoing since that time.
Council member Hal DeSaussure said the Park Board and Safe Route Hudson have been working separately on individual plans, and he believes the new committee will help to "pull it all together and jell."
Dennis Hanink opposed formation of the committee, saying that Schroyer's work was "an objective measure" that council could rely on in making its decisions. He felt there had already been plenty of citizen input from the Park Board and Safe Routes Hudson committees.
Ward 3 representative Alex Kelemen also opposed the new committee, stating that details about its operation and scope should have been in writing in front of them at the meeting. His concern was also that he wished to make his views known on connectivity at council meetings, and felt that the matter "should be discussed as a council".
Basil renewed his request for names of potential members, and said that council would bring the names forward and establish the committee at the next general meeting in two weeks.