Over $2 million in road work is part of town’s budget plans

“We have a wish list, and we have a list of roads we’re going to be paving,” Public Works Director Peter Hill told the selectmen.

Repaving work on some 25 roads is planned as part of $148-million proposed town and school budget for 2019-20. The budget proposals are working their way through review and amendment by town boards — the selectmen, school and finance boards — with a goal of putting them before voters for approval in May.

Roads, drainage and ADA infrastructure show as a $1,840,000 million line in the budget proposals, with $1,765,000 of that for road reconstruction and drainage work.

But the estimated cost for Hill’s list of 25 roads in need of paving is about $2.3 million— which may be why he spoke of a “wish list.”

The town highway department plans to try two different approaches to repaving — the traditional process, and a new one with fiberglass in the mix — in the coming 2019-20 budget year. Hill described the plans to the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, Feb. 6, as part of wider ranging discussion of the department’s $2.8 million proposed 2019-20 budget — which doesn’t include the $1,840,000 for roads, drainage and ADA work.

Hill had a list of 15 roads to be repaved with the traditional methods by the contractor Tilcon, which operates a big paving plant that serves most of the state. The projected cost is $2,151,000.

There are 10 or 11 other roads that are in somewhat better shape, and Hill said he wants to try resurfacing these roads with a new process from Gorman Roads that uses “fiberglass they bind up with aggregate and oil.”

An initial plan was to address these roads with a “microsurfacing” process that was projected to cost about $348,000. But Hill dropped that in favor of the Gorman fiberglass process, with an estimated cost of $147,000 — less than half the cost of the earlier proposal.

“We’ve got 10 roads I’d like to do at a cost $147,000 — it’s a no-brainer,” said Hill.

According to lists in the town budget book the roads scheduled for the traditional repaving by Tilcon or other contractors using its product are: Grandview Drive, Mimosa Circle, Oscaleta Road, Peaceable Hill Road, part of Peaceable Ridge, Perry Lane, Pumping Station Road, Revere Place, Rising Ridge Road, Standish Drive, Stony Hill Terrace, Stonecrest Road, Thunder Hill Road, Whipstick Road, and the remaining part of Barrack Hill Road, which was partially paved last year.

The roads slated for resurfacing with the new Gorman fiberglass method are Nod Road, Cattle Pen Lane, Comstock Court, Nod West Drive, Lynn Place, Hunt Court, Howes Court, Barnum Place, Taylor Court, Titus Place and McKeon Place.

Hill said the new Gorman process has been tried by several neighboring towns including Redding, Newtown and Lewisboro, N.Y. Scouting it out he found public works officials in the neighboring towns were satisfied with the process and thought it was a practical way to extend the useful life of roads that hadn’t deteriorated too much.

“We feel that Gorman has got a good application for roads where the crown is still there and the drainage is still good.” Hill said. “…You’re adding six to eight years to your road.”

The traditional repaving process lasts longer.

“They used to tell us we’d get 12 years out of a repaving, and we’re not getting that,” Hill said.

Marconi reminded Hill that the town had passed an anti-fracking ordinance that prohibited the use of any materials that are by-products of the fracking process used in oil and gas extraction.

Hill said the two vendors the town would be using — Tilcon and Gorman — had both said the fracking by-products weren’t found in the road paving materials they employed.

Asked what the big concern with fracking is, Marconi replied “toxic ingredients” were found from fracking operations to explore for oil and gas wells, mostly in western New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“Private companies are not required to disclose what they’re putting down these wells,” Marconi said.

“…We don’t want it anywhere around here,” he said. “The problem is the federal government needs to crack down on it.”

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