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Southold Town to use grant money to restore sidewalks near senior center

Southold Town officials hope to continue a commitment to improving walkability in Mattituck’s Love Lane area.

Town engineers joined government liaison officer Denis Noncarrow and human resource center director Karen McLaughlin Tuesday in presenting a $150,000 plan to restore sidewalks near the senior center on Pacific Street. 

According to Mr. Noncarrow, the town intends to seek Community Development Block Grant funding to accomplish the project in 2020. “We have been hearing about the amount of people who would like to cross the street from the Human Resource Center and be able to walk on Love Lane,” he said. “People would like to go, but it’s a little bit of an issue crossing.”

The project would install a new sidewalk running from the Human Resource Center along the south side of Old Sound Avenue up to the corner of Westphalia Road. It would adjoin recently renovated existing sidewalks on the north side of Old Sound Avenue and a walkway completed near the renovated Ray Dean parking lot.

Ms. McLaughlin said the project will help ensure safety for seniors. “It’s frustrating,” she admitted during Tuesday’s Town Board work session. “We actually had a couple of seniors that have fallen on Love Lane or on their way over there. Thank God they didn’t get hurt.” She also noted that crossing is because there is no sidewalk in front of the adjacent North Fork Community Theatre.

Ms. McLaughlin pointed out that many seniors don’t drive, so safe access to Love Lane allows them to enjoy independence as they shop or use the post office. Additionally, the new sidewalks will help the senior center launch health and wellness activities, such as Medicare’s Silver Sneakers walking program.

Board members said the project could improve overall access for residents. “It might give people another option,” for parking and accessing Love Lane, Councilman Jim Dinizio said.

Councilman Bill Ruland agreed. “Safe walkability is everything,” he said. “It’s an excellent use of [CDBG funds] because you’ll see results right away, as soon as it’s done.”

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