Wilton bridge to be eyed

WILTON – The Select Board agreed on Monday to have a Vermont company specializing in dry stone construction assess the bridge and causeway on Old County Farm Road to determine what can, or should, be done to repair storm damage to the retaining wall and prevent any further damage to the historic site.

Board member Matt Fish said he and Board Member Kermit Williams met with company representatives last week. While the historic arch itself, built in 1867 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is in “excellent condition,” Fish said, “there is a whole litany of problems” with the retaining walls and the causeway leading to the bridge from Burton Highway.

The assessment will cost $1,200 and will provide costs for the entire project.

Fish said the retaining wall “is bulging in several places,” and could break “at any time.” The majority of the problems, he said, “are in the causeway.”

Trees have not been cut along the road “in many years” and need to be removed. The roots of mature trees are damaging the stone work. The owners of the trees are agreeable to the removal.

The road has been closed to all but traffic but personal cars.

The southern end of Old County Road, which connects with Route 101, is designated Class 6, has not been maintained, and crosses another, smaller, bridge.

Public Works Director Jim Lavacchia told the Select Board he would do some work on it, “smooth it out and make it passable,” and people will be advised to use that end. Any logging operation in the area would need to reinforce the small bridge.

In other business on Monday, the Board approved purchase of radios for the new ambulance, which is expected by next week.

They agreed to study a proposal by the Heritage Commission to request a historic evaluation of old houses slated for demolition so that those properties can be documented.

Member Kermit Williams suggested an audit be done of all departments to determine if funds approved by town meeting had been spent. He also said, “We need to define roles and procedures, come up with an audit schedule, and look at our inter-municipal agreements.”

Proposed changes in a lease arrangement with Quinn Brothers concerning a gravel operation on Route 31 South will be discussed with the Quinn’s attorney.

Various vaccinations required or suggested for all town employees will be offered in the near future.