Board to explore loan options to fix roads

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JAY — The town manager has been asked to look into a $1 million loan to fix the town’s roads.

The Road Committee had a meeting Monday and discussed what roads could be done in the coming year, select board Chairman Steve McCourt said. He is also a member of the Road Committee.

“We’re not keeping our heads above water at $350,000 a year,” McCourt said. “Now the Road Committee seems to agree that the town look at a low interest loan and get a lot of work done.”

Voters have been raising and appropriating $350,000 a year for road work for a few years. The plan is to see if voters will do it again this year.

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If asphalt prices are too high as they were one year, then only necessary work gets done, he said.

There are roads that the town will end up having to rebuild if a new surface is not put on them, he said.

Some roads need to be rebuilt with a good base while others just need to be saved.

“If you’re going to go after a bond, we might as well do them right,” resident Delance White said.

Selectman Tom Goding agreed.

“We need to build a base before making an investment,” Goding said.

Residents of Canton Mountain Road have been sent letters to come to the next selectmen’s meeting at 6:30 p.m., on Monday, April 26, at the town office to revisit discussion on making it a gravel road.

Residents of the road had previously requested that they would rather have the road go back to gravel naturally than have the town do it. However, most of those residents lived at the lower end of the road, McCourt said.

Residents on the higher end have been experiencing trouble this year with some areas having deep ruts and ditches higher than the roadway, he said.

“We need to do something to Canton Mountain Road to make it passable,” McCourt said.

It is too late to get the overall roadwork proposal to voters for the referendum vote at the polls on Tuesday, June 8, due to the time frame required for that type of vote, he said. Information is still being gathered on what’s out there for loans.

But it is not too late to have the proposal to go before voters during the town-meeting style vote on the school budget on Tuesday, June 1, McCourt said.

“We definitely want the town to have a say on this,” he said. “We would hopefully get a bunch of roads done and catch us up. The roads are just falling apart.”

dperry@sunjournal.com

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