Andover Select Board discusses road, water issues, approves budget and warning

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Engineer Everett Hammond reviews the culvert replacement plans with the Andover Select Board

Engineer Everett Hammond reviews the culvert replacement plans with the Andover Select Board. Photo by Shawn Cunningham.

The replacement of a box culvert will close the Andover-Weston Road at Simmonds Road for up to 30 days this summer, according to engineer Everett Hammond in a presentation to the Andover Select Board last night.

The work is part of a culvert replacement project that will take place on Simmonds and Plumb roads as well.

Hammond told the board that depending on several factors, the work could take less than a month, but it would be safer to expect 30 days. The work on Simmonds and Plumb roads will take much less time.

According to Hammond, work is going forward on easements and he expects to send invitations to bid to a number of local and regional contractors by Feb. 1 for a Feb. 11 site meeting. Bids will be due on March 14. The Select Board intends to open the bids that evening and award the contract at the March 28 meeting.

Hazard Mitigation, state Clean Water plan

The board also heard from Alison Hopkins of Southern Windsor County Regional Planning, who had brought a contract to be signed for work on Andover’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. Hopkins said that the town needs to keep track of the work that town employees do on the plan as it can be used as a match for state funds used in putting the plan together.

But it was the other packet she handed out – information on Act 64, the state’s Clean Water Act plan – that got the loudest reaction. Hopkins told the board that there have been rumblings about the plan but not all the details are in. She added that the program is designed to roll out over 20 years and that SWCRPC is the “middleman” in the process and would have more information on its website in the future. Act 64 is designed to clean up and help keep clean the state’s waterways.

“Who’s going to pay for it?” asked board member Barry Williams. “The amount of money it’s going to cost towns just isn’t feasible.”

“On top of the administrative costs you don’t see,” added Town Clerk Linda Bargfrede.

“So some of the money for this comes from the state,” noted board member Chris Plumb. “But that’s just the other pocket.”

“And will it actually improve the water?” asked board member Jean Peters.

“You’ve got to prove it,” said Williams.

Plowing into road could cost

Although there hasn’t been much snow this season, the board decided to crack down on landowners — or the people who plow for them — who push snow into the road from the end of a driveway. This leaves snow in the road that freezes or adds to snowbanks that make it difficult for town crews to plow and keep snow banks winged back. According to Bargfrede there is a statute against this practice that comes with a $1,000 fine on the second occurrence after a warning.

The board asked road foreman Kevin Baker to make sure to get the date, time and place that he sees where someone has plowed across the road and to take a picture for reference. The town will then send a warning letter.

The board also finalized the budget, choosing to use half of the previous year’s surplus of $98,679.42 to keep property taxes down and put the other half in the Highway and Bridge Fund for future work. The board also finalized and signed the Town Meeting warning for Saturday, Feb. 27.

The question of rescinding or amending the towns Public Festivals Ordinance was postponed until the next meeting so that Bargfrede can do research on the options.

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