Sidewalk safety battle in Wheatfield

Posted at 11:31 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 23:31:07-04

A teenage boy lost his life in a hit and run on Krueger Road in Wheatfield more than two years ago and the battle for safety continues on.

The main issue is sidewalks, and as some council members wait to make a move, family members fear another life will be lost.

One woman, leading that charge, to make sure Ryan Fischer, her step-son, did not die in vain.

"His passing can save someone else’s life," said Kelly Dueger.

That's been the mission for family, friends and neighbors of Fischer ever since the 16-year-old boy was hit and killed on Krueger Road in 2014.

Since the accident, they've been pushing for a safer roadway and urged the town to apply for a grant to put a sidewalk on Krueger, which was approved in October 2016. They thought the project was moving forward.

“Now they're reneging and pulling back,” said Dueger.

Advocates say several council members went door to door on Krueger last week, getting input from residents and they say spreading false information to those on the street.

“The neighbors were telling me they were threatening a $400-thousand dollar tax increase,” said Dueger.

The approved state grant gives the town close to $800-thousand dollars for the installation of the sidewalk. The town must then come up with 20 percent more.

It’s an amount of money that Town Supervisor Robert Cliffe says can be done without taxing residents, but not all council members agree.

Hannah: “you applied for this grant you received this grant now they're saying you're backtracking is that true?”

Cliffe: "I’m not backtracking, I still want to go ahead with it but we but the board has heard from people who don't want it.”

The grant states that no special taxes would be implied to residents living in the Krueger Road area.

The town board is holding a public comment period July 10 at 7 p.m. on this issue ahead of the vote.