Weston considers buying used grader; OKs HB bid for heating oil

From left, board members Jim Linville, Bruce Downer, Denis Benson, board Secretary Cheryl Barker and member Charles Goodwin.
All photos by Bruce Frauman.


By Bruce Frauman
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Weston Select Board is considering purchasing a used grader. At the Weston Select Board’s Sept. 10 meeting, board chair Denis Benson said that the board may consider the purchase in early October.

Almon Crandall addresses replacing the grader.

Road Foreman Almon Crandall said he has been looking at a used grader that has about 3,000 hours on it and remains under warranty. He said he thinks it could be purchased for $170,000 to $180,0000. The town’s current grader has about 8,900 hours of work on it and is worth about $40,000, he said.

Donald Hart, who had been board chair, said the former town policy was to sell graders after about five years because, at that point, repair bills start adding up. Crandall said purchases a used grader is “something to think about.” Board member Jim Linville asked Crandall to get information about the cost of purchasing an extended warranty as well as what it covers.

On the lighter side, Linville asked Crandall if there is a good time to buy a grader. Crandall replied, “In my opinion, there is no good time to buy anything.”

The bids between the two companies for heating oil were so close that Benson said they might as well toss a coin. Because of its good service over the past year, HB Energy of Springfield was chosen by the board to continue to supply the 5,500 gallons of oil.

Board members Jim Linville and Bruce Downer opened the two bids from HB Energy and Suburban Propane from Rutland. The fixed price from HB was $2.499/gallon and from Suburban was $2.47. Although Linville said he thought there might be a few hundred dollars of savings with Suburban from the service and cleaning of furnaces, the board voted to stay with HB.

Birgit Sutter-Davis updates board on FEMA grants.

Birgit Sutter-Davis updated the Weston Select Board on the town’s status with FEMA grants after the damage from the storm from last April. Sutter-Davis, in training to be Weston’s next Emergency Management Director, said she divided damaged areas into Greendale Road, the West River bank, and Town Hall and the firehouse. She said she is on track to enter all relevant data into the FEMA online portal.

Health officer appointment delayed

Board member Charles Goodwin said the board should delay the decision for the choice of a new health officer until the next meeting. Will Goodwin (no relation) told Charles Goodwin that he wanted to do some more research before deciding whether to accept the position. Weston’s former health officer, Delores Barbeau, stepped down earlier this year.

Goodwin said that some listers are requesting a town re-evaluation. He said that there were “thoughts on both sides” among the listers and in his own mind. The board did not take any action nor did it undertake any discussion of a possible re-evaluation.

Goodwin asked that the time of the Town Meeting be placed on the agenda for the next Select Board meeting.

Linville asked that Select Board Administrative Assistant Cheryl Barker respond to a letter from Brad Ameden requesting that the name of Simons Lane, a private road, be changed to Serene Lane. The board is looking favorably on the idea, but needs a little more research before approving the change.

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