Weston board to look into Markham Road washouts; decides for early school payments

Barbara Lloyd, left, and Jenny Server discuss washouts along Markham Road. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Weston residents Barbara Lloyd and Jenny Server told the Weston Select Board on Tuesday, Sept. 12 that in the past seven years — but especially this year — water has rushed down from Orton Lane to Markham Road where they live, damaging their driveways and garden beds.

Server said that four driveways all meet together and none has culverts. Weston Road Foreman Almon Crandall said that recent years have brought “gully gushers” instead of “soaking rains.” He added that the road is not wide enough for a ditch, so even if there were culverts, there would be no place for the water to go.

After several ideas from board members and resident Donald Hart, board member Bruce Downer suggested having an engineer offer “two or three possibilities.” Board chair Denis Benson said they would ask VTrans engineer Marc Pickering to look at the problem and offer recommendations.

Treasurer Kim Seymour discusses the benefits of paying now and of paying later.

Town Treasurer Kim Seymour told the board that the business manager for the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union has asked for a $284,052 payment in advance of the total bill of $1.047 million due on Oct. 22. Seymour was hesitant to send the money because she wanted it to earn interest for the town, and found that Londonderry Treasurer Tina Labeau agreed.

The BRSU had suggested that all its member towns make the payment to avoid having to take out a loan and incur the resulting interest payment. Since Weston will either earn interest or have to pay more to the BRSU, the board agreed to the BRSU request for an early payment. It will then pay the $763,269 balance on Oct. 22.

Linville said he met with Windham Regional Commission staff member Emily Davis and they agreed that drainage on Burton Road will be improved and a culvert on Moses Pond Road will be replaced as part of a $14,200 matching grant. 

The board also decided not to purchase a $4,740 extended warranty on the new Ford F-550 plow truck that Crandall said might be delivered as early as mid-October. The warranty would last for five years, 75,000 miles or 3,000 engine hours. Crandall said that he has had “good luck” with all their other vehicles and has not had to replace an engine or transmission.

Select Board member Ann Fuji’i discusses the dams in Cold Spring Brook Park.

Select board member Ann Fuji’i, who also sits on the Weston Conservation Commission, said that the commission is considering studying the two dysfunctional dams at Cold Spring Brook Park.

Benson said he had “some concerns” about the proposed study.

Fuji’i said the Weston Community Association owns the dams and formed a task force that consisted of a couple of members of the Conservation Commission as well as a few Weston residents with expertise in waterways.

The task force has hired DuBois & King to do a preliminary study and offer some options. Fuji’i said the report to the board was “just for your information.” But Benson disagreed, saying it does involve the town and could remove historic points of interest. Fuji’i said the Community Association is “tired of getting grief about what’s going on there. It used to be a pretty park. The stream is going around (the dam). Ideally, it would be nice to restore the stream to its natural flow and this is the first step.”

No action was taken on the subject.

    • Resident Nancy Westlund wants a port-a-potty in front of Comcast on Route 100 moved.

      Fuji’i said she thought the board had decided that “it was not in our best interests” to break the contract for uniform delivery and cleaning with Foley in order to try a new, possibly less expensive contract with Unifirst. Sara Houghton, the Unifirst representative who offered the new proposal, has been unable to attend recent meetings. The board agreed  to table the consideration of a Unifirst contract until the town reaches the end of the Foley contract in 2019.

    • Weston home-owner Nancy Westlund said a Comcast building near her house on Route 100 has a blue port-a-potty out front that belongs to Dorr. She said she considers it an eyesore and should be screened or moved.  Westlund said that Comcast has been “hard to contact.” Linville said he would contact Comcast and Dorr to see if port-a-potty could be removed or moved.

 

  • After considerable discussion over lock details, especially considering a deadbolt, the board let board administrator Cheryl Barker and Clerk/Treasurer Kim Seymour choose a front door lock. Locks in the range of $124 to $242 were being considered.
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