Weston board continues speed sign discussion; Act 64 compliance road work continues

Weston Select Board members from left, Denis Benson, Charles Goodwin, Jim Linville, Annie Fuji’i and Bruce Downer. Images courtesy GNAT TV

By Mallory Hopkins
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Weston Select Board met for the first time since the delayed Weston Town Meeting on May 25. Members opted out of their regularly scheduled meeting that would normally have taken place the same day. The town’s annual meeting had been postponed from March, due to Covid-19.

Board vice chair Jim Linville said that at Town Meeting they received “a lot of complaints about the speed.” Local residents had suggested lighted radar traffic signs and calling on State Police to enforce the speed limit through town. This has been a topic of discussion at a number of meetings this year with Linville planning to draft a survey to be reviewed by the board, then sent out to locals for feedback. The signs would be seen as people enter town from north and south. The exact locations have not been decided.

The board has not been unanimous on the need for the signs. Saying that most of the complaints have come from a small group of people who live around Route 100, board chair Dennis Benson suggested that Linville’s survey should not just be sent to those residents who live near where the signs might be placed, but to everyone in town with their tax bills because the signs “will effect the entire town.”

“People came here for the quality of life,” Benson. “Now all of a sudden we’re starting to put up flashing signs.”

A draft survey – and probably more discussion – is expected at the next meeting.

Road work and state compliance

Road Foreman Almon Crandall gave the board paperwork to sign for a $15,900 state grant to continue work on bringing the town’s roads into compliance with Act 64, which regulates runoff and erosion. However, Crandall said he doubted they would ever be fully in compliance.

Act 64 requires towns to limit erosion by taking steps such as stone lining ditches on stretches of road that have a substantial grade. But there are some places where the topography makes such work difficult or even impossible.

“Every problem has a solution, but sometimes the bill isn’t worth it,” said Linville.

Weston resident Donald Hart said it would be a “dollar sign as big as this room.”

“I’m sure all towns are in the same boat we’re in” said Crandall.

The Select Board members visited The Little School prior to their June 8 meeting to look at the floor that they were told needed repairs. Benson said there were “a couple of humps here and there” in regards to the floor. The Little School will move forward with getting quotes on the cost of the repairs. More information on the project will be coming, including the possible replacement of the electrical service box.

Agenda confusion and executive sessions

At the end of the meeting, Linville moved to enter two executive sessions to discuss agenda items 10 and 11. But the agenda still posted on the town’s website lists those item numbers as “Delinquent Tax” and approval of minutes. Linville said the first session would be under the Open Meeting Law exemption for the appointment or employment of a public officer and the second would be to discuss a real estate purchase.

It was unclear what those referred to, but in minutes posted on Tuesday, June 15, the board voted to appoint Andrew Clapp to a vacant seat as a Trustee of Public Funds and to appropriate up to $50,000 to the Friends of the Weston Community for the purpose of acquiring the Coughlin property that adjoins the Wilder Library. The board also voted to postpone the appointment of town officers.

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About the Author: Mallory Hopkins, a native of Londonderry, is a marketing professional with experience in documentary film production and video editing. In 2018, she earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Flagler College of St. Augustine, Fla. She produced 'The Oldest City Underwater' about sea level rise in St. Augustine, a short video that has been shown in several in-person and online film festivals and a national conference on sea level rise. After living in Florida for seven years, Hopkins recently returned to the Green Mountain State.

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