Margaretville gearing up for Main Street improvements

By Brian Sweeney
A new pedestrian bridge, sidewalk upgrades and landscape improvements will soon be incorporated along Margaretville’s Main Street.

The pedestrian walkway spanning the Binnekill stream is scheduled for installation on June 21. The walking bridge will be supported by new concrete abutments and will replace the bridge that was destroyed by flooding last August. This portion of the village project is being funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The other work in the village will get underway after Labor Day, so that summer pedestrian traffic won’t be affected. Plans call for the following improvements to be implemented:
• Replacement of damaged sections of sidewalk and curbs on the south side of Main Street from the pocket park on Main Street to the traffic light. In the areas where the sidewalks need replacing, the first five feet from the curb will utilize “pavers” with the remaining area continuing as concrete.
• New period lighting will be installed on either end of the pedestrian bridge, along the path leading to Main Street and several more between the Binnekill Park and the traffic light.
• A number of trees will be planted along the sidewalk in between the new period lighting.

Village information
• Complimentary signage designed to match the period lights will be installed at the chamber booth and will replace the notice board. This new village directory will include a map with location finder to help direct visitors to places like the post office, the school, library, churches, the village office, etc. Retail and commercial centers will be noted without specific names.
• A four-sided informational kiosk will be installed along the Binnekill stream at the entrance to the walking bridge. This will replace a kiosk that was destroyed by flooding last year.
- One side of the kiosk will provide information about the East Branch stream recreational access to the Pepacton Reservoir (and others), that are now open to non-motorized boating.
- A second side will contain a Catskill Park map with specific details about hiking trails.
- A third side will be a permanent exhibit providing historical details about the Village of Margaretville.
- The final side will provide space for events and notices.
• Two current “welcome” signs on the Route 28 and Route 30 entrances will be replaced and a new welcome sign will be installed along Route 28 below the wastewater treatment plant.
• Several smaller signs will be added to provide directions for parking, walking and other directions.

Funding for these improvements is being provided by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Smart Growth grant program. The village was approved to receive $83,000 from this program approximately five years ago.

An additional grant of $50,000 from the NYS Department of State was originally earmarked to help fund a nature trail along the East Branch of the Delaware River. However, the committee ultimately decided to redirect these funds to assist with the Main Street sidewalk improvements.

Members of the committee working on the improvements include: Mayor Bill Stanton, Village Trustee Iris Mead, Foothills Shoe Store owner Marc Levenshus, Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce Director Carol O’Beirne, MARK Project Director Peg Ellsworth and Landscape Architecture Consultant Birgitta Brophy.