Kingfield schedules informational meeting


KINGFIELD — Voters have three issues that will require their input at a January informational meeting.

At their Monday night meeting, selectmen scheduled a public information meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at Webster Hall.

Administrative assistant Leanna Targett said 77 of 1,200 taxpayers responded to a survey mailed with tax bills. Suggestions included adding public restrooms, a place for swimming and other amenities.

The public informational meeting will provide an update on one of those projects: A riverfront park and trail head behind Longfellow’s Restaurant.

In 2012, the selectmen formed the Village Enhancement Committee, and this was one of the projects voters approved. Because so many new residents do not know about the project, selectmen wanted to share details.

“I think voters should be able to express their opinion one more time,” Selectman John Dill said.

Not all Mill Street property owners wanted to sign an easement over their private property, but selectmen have negotiated for six years until all owners approved the plan.

The estimated $179,000 includes paving, grading, seeding, brush clearing and all other work necessary to make the area handicapped accessible, well lighted and landscaped.

Targett said the only remaining issue is the shared boundary between two of the property owners. When that is settled, work can begin.

Selectmen said they will seek input on the possibility of banning plastic bags at retail businesses. Earlier this year, several Kingfield Elementary School students made a presentation to the board, requesting the town come up with a plan to reduce plastic waste.

Many municipalities already have instituted a ban, and others are considering it. Targett said the survey responses indicated taxpayers were in support of reducing waste going into landfills.

Selectmen also said they want to review the $1 million plan to rebuild Tufts Pond Road. Targett said she has received a number of comments from people who live on or near the road, and from taxpayers who objected to the cost.

“Repaving and adding a chip seal coating would cost $500,000,” she said.

Although the Public Works crew could install culverts and ditch the sides of the road, that would take the crew away from its regularly scheduled summer road work.

The project could be done in stages, starting with culvert replacement, ditching and road shoulder improvement. At the Jan. 17 informational meeting, voters will be able to offer ideas and opinions for how much to spend and over what period of time.

In other matters, Jim Boyce, from the SnoWanderers snowmobile club, discussed that residents on Riverside Street had objected to the light in the snowmobile shed parking lot. The light, they said, shined directly into their windows when it was installed.

Although the light’s angle was adjusted to correct that problem, Boyce said another adjustment was needed to direct more light onto the parking lot and increase safety for riders.