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Sidewalk easement costs Village

FLAT ROCK — Get it in writing comes up often in business. It might have paid for the village of Flat Rock.

The Village Council last week agreed to pay up to $5,000 for work homeowners insisted they had negotiated as a condition of a sidewalk easement.
The homeowners at 160 W. Blue Ridge Road agreed to grant an easement for the sidewalk project from the Mill House Lodge to Greenville Highway under the condition that the contractor extend a sidewalk to a footbridge in their yard.
The amount of brick paver sidewalk "was about four times the distance" than first thought, said Mayor Robert Staton.
Ann Swift said she had spoken with Mayor Staton last fall and again more recently.
"We called him back later and he said, 'Sure, we can do that.' My husband and I were both on the phone. We considered that a verbal agreement."
Staton, a lawyer who had negotiated many of the easement agreements himself, said the Swifts had threatened to "stop construction of the sidewalk" over the dispute.
The council agreed to spend up to $5,000 to extend the sidewalk to the Swifts' bridge.
In another matter, the Village Council directed landscape architect Ed Lastein to proceed with a survey of hemlocks on Little River Road, West Blue Ridge Road and Rutledge Drive that need to be treated for woolly adelgid. The council authorized the chemical treatment of 154 trees on Greenville Highway.
"I think everyone recognizes the canopy appeal of Flat Rock and much of that canopy is hemlocks," Staton said.