MOUNT DESERT — Why do Somesville Library patrons cross the road?
Because once they get to the other side, there’s no safe place to walk, according to members of the Somesville Village Improvement Society (VIS).
In fact, they say all of the sidewalks in the village — on Main Street, Oak Hill Road and Pretty Marsh Road — are in bad shape, and they have appealed to the Board of Selectmen to have them rebuilt.
“The sidewalks are very unsafe, and I’m really disappointed with the town in how they maintain them,” VIS member Tom Fernald told the selectmen at their Dec. 20 meeting.
The selectmen said they realize that sidewalks in all of the villages, not just Somesville, need work.
“We’ve got issues all over town with poor sidewalks,” Selectman Chuck Bucklin said, “and I think it’s time to take care of them.”
But Public Works Director Tony Smith said in an e-mail on Monday that, in preparing his department’s budget request for next fiscal year, he has not made sidewalks a high priority. He said sidewalks are just one area in which the town has fallen behind this year because the budget did not allow for any increase in spending over the previous year.
Mr. Smith said he is well aware that sidewalks all over town are in bad shape.
“Frankly, the ones in Somesville are some of the better ones,” he said.