Weston to consider walk/bikeway along Rt. 100

Weston Select Board members, from left, Annie Fuji’i, Jim Linville and discuss a proposed walk/bikeway. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

After much discussion, the Weston Select Board last Tuesday night approved a plan to begin looking at creating a walk/bikeway along Route 100 roughly between the new Walker Farm theater and the Inn at Weston.

The Weston Planning Commission would apply for a grant for the Windham Regional Commission and VTrans to conduct a scoping study to determine different options for pedestrian and bike traffic. Board member Jim Linville said Marc Pickering of VTrans said the pathway could be crushed gravel or sure pack with no curb. Deadline to apply for the grant is June 22.

Chair Denis Benson argued against the proposal, saying it was a step toward what people moving to Weston were trying to get away from and that pedestrian safety has not been an issue.

Others board members disagreed with both statements.

Linville said it will be up to voters at Town Meeting next March to make a final decision as to which, if any, option to construct.

As for now, the board agreed to approve a letter of support for the grant, which is $30,000. The town will have to provide a 20 percent match, or $6,000. Linville said he expects $2,000 could be raised privately.

Forefathers Cemetery railing damaged

Almon Crandall tells the board about damage to the Forefathers Cemetery railing.

Road Foreman Almon Crandall said the railing at the Forefathers Cemetery on Lawrence Hill Road was hit by a car that had to be towed. He said he doesn’t know who owns the car and did not get any identifying information such as a license number. Crandall said a portion of the railing can be repaired, but a portion will have to be replaced. Linville asked Crandall get repair and replacement estimates, then return to the board with a proposal that it can vote on. He added, “It is our cemetery and our responsibility to fix it.”

Board member Ann Fuji’i asked who would do the repairs and Crandall said he would and that he often uses his personal portable welder for town repairs.

Joann Erenhouse from Senior Solutions explained the organization’s programs and services. According to the Senior Solutions website, its mission is to “assist older persons in achieving an optimum quality of life, individually and in their communities.”

Joann Erenhouse of Senior Solutions explains what her organization does.

Erenhouse said Senior Solutions helps provide information on Medicare, handles paperwork for Meals on Wheels and helps seniors apply for 3 Squares Vermont. The Friendly Visitors program helps alleviate loneliness, PEARLS helps seniors deal with moderate depression, and SHIP helps seniors navigate health insurance options. A new program, Vet to Vet, is receiving help from commanders of the American Legion and the VFW. Using a federal grant, Senior Solutions will create a community response team to help keep seniors safe.

Asked by Fuji’i how Senior Solutions interacts with Neighborhood Connections and Just Neighbors, Erenhouse said it provides structure and support and acts as a referral agency. Covering 44 towns, Senior Solutions cannot call people “blind” and relies on care agencies such as Neighborhood Connections and Just Neighbors as their first line of defense.

In other business:

  • Benson said the reserve of $6,500 for the town fire truck on sale was not met. The current high bid is $4,500. Board Administrator Cheryl Barker said she has an interested party, but does not know his bid amount. Benson said he has a book with possible bidders as well.
  • An estimate that is $300 higher than one offered last fall at around $7,000 to replace the two large side windows in the town office building was approved by the board, over the objections of Benson who said it was the contractor who choose to wait until spring to do the installation.
  • Crandall said he was told that David Chaves Excavating will close its Andover gravel pit because the pit is “done,” while the Londonderry pit will remain open. Crandall said he preferred the sand and gravel from Andover because it is bank run gravel not crushed sledge as in Londonderry.
  • Board member Charles Goodwin praised Crandall for his work on the culvert on Shaw Knoll Road, citing an email he received from Scott Jensen from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Ann Degan was promoted to a full time member of the Planning Commission.
  • An offer of a free energy audit of all town buildings from Efficiency Vermont was accepted.
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