BOARD OF SELECTMEN SPECIAL MEETING
THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019 @3:00 P.M.
TOWN HALL HEARING ROOM
Present: First Selectman Julia Pemberton, Selectman Peg O’Donnell, Selectman Michael Thompson (by phone), Town Clerk Michele Grande, Public Works Director Jeff Hanson and four members of the public who live on or near Umpawaug Road.
Call to order:
First Selectman Julia Pemberton called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.
Discussion and possible action: 3 year road reconstruction plan and estimated costs:
Discussion was held regarding road conditions in town this paving season and paving season going forward.
J. Hanson said roads in urgent need of work were Umpawaug, Marchant and Hopewell Woods. Topstone to 53 is much better, but there is a part of Topstone that still needs to addressed. This year Church Hill Road and all small roads near Church Hill were reconstructed. Drainage was installed and roads were reclaimed and paved. Work on Church Hill was started in March, but not paved until mid-June.
J. Hanson talked about the different processes to maintain and extend the life of the roads, i.e., milling, cold-in-place paving. Advises “paving preservation”.
J. Hanson stated that in a perfect year, they could pave 5 miles of road in a year. There are approximately 86 miles of road in town; almost 50 miles have been completed in the last 7 years.
J. Hanson said he could not reclaim Umpawaug Road and still pave this year. He suggested milling and paving instead. It will take approximately 6 days to complete, weather permitting. He stressed the need to do Umpawaug this year.
P. O’Donnell confirmed with J. Hanson that the road reconstruction list is evaluated once a year and the order of the roads being worked on may change.
J. Hanson agreed that Umpawaug Road is a priority; Marchant Road could also potentially be done. He stressed the need to do this as soon as possible – hopefully in September or October.
J. Pemberton discussed the process for approving an expenditure. If approved by the Board of Selectmen, they will send to the Board of Finance. If they recommend the expenditure, a special town meeting will be held for approval. The Board of Selectmen will decide whether it would be put to a vote at the town meeting or removed from the call of the meeting to a machine vote. Both the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen would need to call special meetings of their respective boards. The special town meeting, once set, has to be noticed five days prior to the meeting; if the vote is sent to a machine vote, a referendum will be held 7-14 days thereafter.
The cost of milling and paving Umpawaug Road would be $400,000; Marchant would be $200,000.
Further discussion was held updating the status of many of the road projects from previous years.
J. Pemberton wondered if it might be worth revisiting widening of Pine Tree Road.
J. Hanson stated this would not be something his crew could do because of the cliff on one side and the rocky ledge on the other. It would have to be contracted out.
Previous bonds and BANS for road reconstruction were discussed.
J. Hanson stated that approximately 50 miles of road had been done with the two previous bonds.
M. Thompson clarified that the roads needing work, including Umpawaug and Marchant, were not included in the previous bonding packages.
That the Board of Selectmen recommend to the Board of Finance an expenditure of $3,000,000 for road reconstruction projects to commence in the Fall of 2019. O’Donnell, Thompson. Passed unanimously.
Peter Bonfanti, 44 Umpawaug Road. He and his neighbors are concerned about the timing of the work. Urges the Board of Selectmen to stress urgency to Board of Finance and to set a special town meeting as soon as possible. Also asked the Board of Selectmen to consider giving the Director of Public Works better resources to accomplish road work.
P. O’Donnell suggested there always be a road plan in place.
Joyce Rodrigo, 38 Umpawaug Road. Said Umpawaug is scary to drive on as people cross the center line trying to avoid potholes. The sooner the road is fixed, the better.
J. Hanson stated his road maintenance budget is currently $150,000 for FYE 2020. Also said there is TAR (Town Aid Road) Fund money that can be used for trees and for salt.
MOTION to adjourn. Thompson, O’Donnell. Passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
Submitted by: Michele R. Grande