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Residents sue to maintain road

SILVER CREEK – Residents on a stretch of Stewart Avenue in Hanford Bay are going to court to force the Town of Hanover to maintain that section of the road.

Robert Whalen, one of the residents, said the town has maintained the roadway for more than 50 years, and he and 10 other residents are asking that the town continue the practice. Whalen said the group of residents filed a suit against the town, a case that will be heard July1 in State Supreme Court.

Whalen said Supervisor Todd Johnson and Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo were named in the suit.

D’Angelo said he is aware of Whalen’s complaint but has not received any notice to appear. D’Angelo said the affected residents live on a private road that is far below town standards.

“I have specifications for town roads, and this does not even come close to the dimensions,” D’Angelo said.

He noted the residents are concerned about a retaining wall that has been keeping the road surface from caving into the creek. D’Angelo said the retaining wall is old, but it was not put in place by the town.

He suggested the retaining wall may have been built by residents or the Hanford Bay Association, a group that represents homeowners in the area.

D’Angelo, who also serves as the town’s disaster coordinator, said he keeps watching the wall and would have to take action if it caved in and posed a danger for neighborhood residents.

He also said he was directed by the town attorney to place a sign on the section of the road that is private so motorists and residents know where the town road ends and the private road begins.

“It’s not much wider than a driveway there,” D’Angelo said of the section of Stewart Avenue in question. He said assessors maps and state roadway maps also affirm that the section in question is privately owned.

Whalen said the 450-foot section of road had been maintained by the town for many years.

“After they’ve maintained it for so many years, they cannot just stop,” he said.