- Fred Nazzewski asked the Selectboard to consider reclassifying County Road from the current end of the class 3 road near Mr. Rum’s house down to the Dolle home. There are telephone poles and high speed internet already installed. It would increase the tax base for the town. This area is the future of Stamford and he hopes they will consider the possibilities. It would benefit the highway crew by not having to drive around through Clarksburg up West Road to plow Klondike Road. Dave Tatro agreed that it would substantially reduce the wear and tear on the vehicles by staying in town to plow and not having to go through Clarksburg. Dave Tatro said he has thought about it a lot and it makes sense to make that section a year round, full time road. Mike Denault was concerned as to whether Clarksburg will maintain their end of the road as well as Stamford. Mike Denault asked what process was necessary to change the classification of a road. Dave Tatro referred to our Road Ordinance and said there are some areas that would need work, for instance some areas are too narrow for two cars to pass in the winter. The state establishes minimum codes and standards that should be followed. We would receive additional money from the state if those portions of County Road and Klondike Road were reclassified as Class 3. Mike Denault asked Dave Tatro to look into it and come back with the initial cost for the necessary road upgrades. It would not have to be paved since it is already a town road and not a new road. Nancy Bushika suggested he come up with something for budget time and the board could set money aside in the budget. Dave Tatro thought the cost would be considerable. Nancy Bushika said it would be a Selectboard decision not a town vote. Dave Tatro agreed citing in the ordinance that the Selectboard has the ultimate authority on reclassifying roads and that town votes are advisory only. Mike Denault thinks it’s a good idea but recognizes that it may be costly. Dave Tatro believes that it is in the best interests of the town. Nancy Bushika agreed and suggested we start putting money aside in the budget. Dave Tatro said having our own town excavator to do the work instead of hiring it out would really make a difference in the cost. He thought it would take the highway crew a summer to bring the road to where it should be. The board was very supportive.
- Mike Denault noted that we have discussed buying an excavator several times. Dave Tatro would like to have a machine in mind for purchase when they ask the town to release the funds. We have $65,000 in our highway equipment fund at this time. Dave Tatro believes we could afford to buy an excavator with the money we would save in not hiring out the excavator work. He stated we would definitely need a third laborer to be efficient.
- Fred Nazzewski complimented Mike Brothers and Dave Tatro for their mechanical repair work on the town equipment. They save the town lots of money by doing the work in-house and he hopes they are appreciated.
- Fred Nazzewski asked if when the highway department does work for the school if the school reimburses the highway department. Nancy Bushika said no, we do not bill the school for work done.
- Fred Nazzewski mentioned the landslide area near Tatro Road. Carol Fachini felt opening up Old County Road would help re-route traffic in the event of a landslide. Mike Denault said a camp owner also approached him about the landslide area. Dave Tatro had the state engineer look at it a year or two ago. It is a big project to fix the area properly and would cost a lot of money. It could qualify for a mitigation grant.
OLD COUNTY ROAD
Laura Champagne believes opening up County and Klondike Road is a good idea and wishes the board would be consistent when considering Old County Road. The Selectboard is waiting to hear from the town attorney regarding the petitions. The town clerk spoke with the attorney today who expects to provide her opinion for discussion at the next Selectboard meeting. Mike Denault asked if the attorney could provide the letter sooner so the Selectboard could review it prior to the meeting. Carol Fachini felt reversing the decision to discontinue the road would not require as much road work as if the road was being accepted as a new road. Dave Tatro reminded the board that we are talking about a road that was discontinued legally. He asked Carol Fachini to review the town’s code and standards because all roads need to follow that standard. Dave Tatro said before she wastes any more of her time, she should get a copy of the road policy because there are things she needs to do. Nancy Bushika said Maltese Road took about 10 years to update the road, get the rights-of-way and reclassify the road. Nancy Bushika asked why the board would want to reverse their prior decision. Dave Tatro said reversing the decision won’t help the Fachinis because in 2010 when they discontinued the road, the section only went to the cellar hole and not to her house. Carol Fachini said there are many property owners already in court because the ancient road process has caused a lot of difficulty for people, and the courts are reversing the decisions. Carol Fachini felt if they paid to bring the road up to standard and the town takes it over it would alleviate a lot of problems. Helen Fields was a Selectboard member during the ancient roads process and recalled the process of holding hearings and notifying all abutters. The Selectboard sent the necessary communications to all interested parties at the time. A lot of property owners liked having the roads become private to omit the public traffic. Laura Champagne noted that many people who received those letters probably didn’t understand the ramifications of the changes. Dave Tatro wanted to point out, if the decision is reversed, the road would be classified as a Class 4 road with minimal summer work and no winter plowing. Carol Fachini said John Tatro had told her that he was supposed to be maintaining her road for years but he wasn’t due to the confusion surrounding the original discontinuance of Old County Road. Helen Fields felt reversing the decision was possible. Carol Fachini felt she will probably recuse herself from voting and she thought Dave Tatro should do the same since it affects his job. Dave Tatro said he didn’t want to discuss it and that she shouldn’t tell him whether or not he should vote. She shouldn’t suggest it because she’s almost intimidating him not to vote on something.