Improvements Coming To Jefferson Street "Gateway" To Monticello Starting 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Updates to this project have recently been announced. Any proposed changes or modifications considered by the Board of Trustees, with public input invited. (The following was originally posted here on 1/26/2014.)
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New sidewalks, improved crossings, and wheelchair-accessible curb cuts will provide health and safety benefits for people who like to walk, those who don't have a car, and seniors and other nearby residents. The project will also fix a storm-water run-off problem that has existed for years at the corner of Jefferson Street and Sturgis Road.

Creating jobs and inviting economic development and tourism, there will be improvements to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the Jefferson Street gateway to Monticello by addition of green landscaped buffers, attractive pocket parks, and orderly pedestrian right-of-way delineation. The "new look" for Jefferson Street will complement recent enhancements on Broadway, Pleasant Street, and Forestburgh Road, seamlessly connecting to Exit 104 and 106 to State Route 17.

The NYS Department of Transportation will provide $477,995.00 to fund the project for bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation enhancement to encourage tourism and economic development opportunities. Construction bids will be awarded between October and December 2014, with construction and final project inspection between April and December 2015.

DOT studies concluded that many drivers entering Monticello prefer the route to the Government Center and business district via the Pleasant Street corridor, rather than Jefferson Street, in part due to the condition of the roads and the lack of sidewalks and other amenities. Also, during storm events, minor flooding occurs and the inadequate drainage has compromised the integrity of the road surface in several areas and caused water pollution, most notably the intersection of Jefferson Street and Sturgis Road, which provides direct access to the Sullivan County Government Center and Shortline Bus Terminal.

The award of this grant is personally gratifying to me, as I attended a training session for the TEP program held by the DOT in Poughkeepsie on June 12, 2013. DOT required at least one "official" representative such as a Trustee, to demonstrate municipal commitment to the grant application. Deputy Clerk Stacy Walker joined me for the day-long training event. I also want to send a huge thanks to community planner Helen Valenti Budrock of Sullivan Renaissance whose worked with us to save the Village of Monticello roughly $20,000.00 in the completion of the formal grant application at no cost to the taxpayers.

TEP provides 80% of the cost of the project, with 20% matching funds from the locality. A reimbursement program, the Village will be required to have funds available for the entire project and submit paperwork by specified deadlines in order to secure reimbursements.

Jefferson Street Gateway Project map

See this press release on Governor Cuomo's website. Click the above image to download a PDF of the project description with letters of support from the following public officials and community organizations: