Wilton selectmen get update on variety of public works projects

WILTON – From major highway reconstruction, to dealing with residents’ complaints about dead trees, to “doing something” about the old bowling alley under Main Street, Department of Public Works Director Jim Lavacchia presented a wide variety of ongoing projects to the Select Board on Monday.

Asked to provide an update, Lavacchia listed over a half dozen projects and problems that he is dealing with.

Responding to recent concerns raised by residents of the gravel portion of Captain Clark Highway, the three-quarters of a mile from Potter Road to the Mason town line, Lavacchia said the road had “numerous issues,” including being very narrow, poor sight distances in some places, and a “bad dip” in the road.

To fully bring the road “up to modern standards,” he had a “ball park figure” of $250,000. Part of the road is already paved but in need of work, he said.

Selectman Kermit Williams thought that figure “was low,” based on other estimates he had seen.

Selectman Matt Fish said it was too much to spend, “the whole paving budget,” on one road, “and we need to take a common sense approach to upgrading gravel roads. Not everyone can live on a paved road.” He noted that he lives on a dirt road.

Lavacchia said he was looking at it as a “long term capital program” that could be brought to town meeting and would discuss it with the Capital Improvements Plan Committee.

The Board received a complaint about dead and dying trees on Tremont Street which residents said posed a safety hazard, branches falling into the street.

Lavacchia agreed the trees “hang over the road” but they are on private property. Town Administrator Paul Branscombe will discuss the matter with the landowners.

The bowling alley will be discussed further. An estimate of $20,000 to fill the space under the sidewalk with concrete has been received. The space is leaking water into the basement of Nelson’s Candy, a problem caused by reconstruction of Main Street ten years ago, and owner Doug Nelson said he is willing to work with officials. The bowling alley dates to 1913.

“We need to determine” responsibility, Selectman Kermit Williams said, “and look for cheaper alternatives.”

Lavacchia will look for costs and other solutions for next year.

In other areas, Lavacchia is working with Nashua Regional Planning Commission to complete the stormwater management plan. A final plan has to be filed next month with the state.

He is working with the state for the required wetland permits for upgrading Old County Farm Road in order to cut trees.

The first phase of meeting concerns in a Letter of Deficiency concerning the New Reservoir Dam has been completed. Lavacchia is hoping to have the classification of the dam downgraded since it is no longer a public water supply. “I’m waiting for a response from Concord,” he said.

Bridge weight limit warning signs have been installed on Stagecoach Road and adding “No Through Trucking” signs were discussed.