Cavendish schedules sewer repair with late summer paving

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Town of Cavendish is looking to resolve a longstanding sewer pipe problem on Main Street in Proctorsville this summer by piggybacking on the state’s work on Route 131

Cavendish board members meeting via Zoom on Monday night. Images courtesy of Okemo Valley TV

At Monday night’s Select Board meeting, Town Manager Brendan McNamara said that the 8-inch asbestos-cement sewer line between Singleton’s and the manhole at the top of Depot Street has a 6-inch sag where grease and other debris collect. To keep it from backing up — which it has in the past — the town must pay each year to have the line flushed out. But with the impending road project coming on Main Street, McNamara told the board that “now is the time.”

McNamara said that Randy Shimp, who manages the town’s water and wastewater system, had put together a bid package, and that a bid proposal for $232,325 was received. He noted that the job could be engineered to find savings and doing the work at the same time that the state is repaving will result in a savings as well. McNamara also said that some of the expected federal Covid relief funds could be used for this.

“If we don’t do it now, our hand will be forced at some point,” said McNamara, who added that making the repairs on an emergency basis in the future would be more costly and would involve tearing up the newly paved street.

‘If we don’t do it now, our hand will be forced at some point’ Town Manager Brendan McNamara told the board

“It’s a big one,” said McNamara noting that the work will take 45 days starting around mid-July. “There’s a lot to do, digging up a major sewer line on a major state highway.” The board agreed.

Continuing to discuss the paving project, McNamara said there have been some issues with Rt. 131 including wait times. He said that the contractors would tear up the road 6 to 8  inches.  The project goes from the Cavendish Village line most of the way to Downers and, after school is out in mid-June, will begin moving toward Proctorsville.

McNamara said he thought the legal limit for flaggers to hold traffic is 10 minutes making a trip from Cavendish to Proctorsville “irritating” especially when drivers are held up multiple times. He asked that anyone with questions about the construction to call him. McNamara also said the contractors are shooting to begin paving in August, which will coincide with the sewer project and to be finished by Oct. 11 although they are hoping to be done sooner.

American Rescue Plan funds anticipated

McNamara told the board that the town should be getting $412,000 from the federal American Rescue Plan and a May 11 date has been spoken about, but he’s not expecting it then. The state is working on spending guidelines with a concentration on water, wastewater and broadband projects but McNamara said he hoped there would be some expansion in the guidelines to benefit everyone in the town not just those on the water/sewer system.

Actions on health violation, tax delinquencies, GM board vacancy

The board heard from McNamara on the health order violation at 228 Cavendish Gulf Road. He said that the house is unreachable as its culvert is gone – which can undermine the road. There is also trash and rodents and the building continues to deteriorate.

McNamara said Guardian Asset Management, which works for the bank that holds the mortgage, told him that they had received bids for remediating the situation. McNamara said Guardian said it should have an answer from “the investor” within 10 days although, he is skeptical saying he had “no faith in the company” and wanted to act on Tuesday to fix the driveway, remove the trash, get rid of the infestation and put a lien on the property to pay for the work.

After some discussion, the board agreed.

The board also heard about the results of a recent tax sale. Out of seven properties listed, four were removed from the sale either because the taxes were paid or because a pending closing would bring it current. Two of the remaining three were sold and one was found to be impacted by Irene so that the property is essentially worthless and should be removed from the grand list.

McNamara said Covid has slowed down tax sales, but the town would move forward with them on a quarterly basis. He noted that the sale attracted about 10 bidders and that the town collected $50,000 in delinquent taxes.

The board discussed candidates to recommend to fill a Cavendish vacancy the Green Mountain Unified School Board. Julia Gignoux was nominated and after some discussion the board voted to recommend her.

Kate Lamphere who had served for several years on the board and returned when no one ran to replace her when she stepped down told The Telegraph “I am thankful Cavendish has 3 dedicated representatives on the board and look forward to what they will bring to the district.”

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