Balky traffic light, Rescue Department concerns among issues in Turner


TURNER — A traffic light apparently on the blink at Snell Hill Road and Route 4 was one issue on the agenda for selectmen Monday night.

Selectmen were told that it appears the light is tripping at irregular intervals, especially late at night, causing driver frustration.

Town Manager Kurt Schaub said Dennis Emidy, an engineer with the Maine Department of Transportation and a traffic light specialist, tested the light last week and determined it was functioning correctly.

Schaub said the MDOT would not approve a suggestion that the light become a flashing light during overnight hours, citing safety concerns.

In other action, Rescue Chief Toby Martin said his department responded to 76 calls in November, with 32 being no-transports. The no-transport calls are not billable and Martin asked selectmen to establish a policy that would allow charging for no-transport calls if other services are provided.

Martin said many of the people making the no-transport calls have serious illnesses and need assistance, but may not need to go to the hospital. Others refuse to go. But staff still needs to be paid, he said.

Selectman Angelo Terreri suggested Martin draft a billing policy and let selectmen work with that.

Martin also requested that rescue workers be paid for their full shift when they work holidays. He said his two full-time employees are now on 12-hour shifts, but are only paid for eight hours on holidays. The board agreed that the policy should recognize an employee’s normal shift.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Kurt Youland suggested that department heads be given a deadline to get their budgets to the board, so they can begin work on next year’s spending plan.

There was a long discussion on whether to plow the sidewalks on Turner Center Road by the Leavitt Institute. It was finally agreed to work with School Administrative District 52 on an arrangement to trade town sand and salt in an exchange for the district clearing the sidewalks.

Road Foreman Jack Moultrie told selectmen he needed a new steam cleaner for the Public Works Department. The current machine is eight years old, and repairing it would be too costly, he said. Youland suggested Moultrie check with Kennebec Equipment Rental to see if it rented steam cleaners and if any would be for sale.