JAY — Selectmen voted Monday to have public works foreman John Johnson do what needs to be done to turn the upper half of the dead-end Canton Mountain Road to a gravel road.
The road is in bad shape with poor drainage and ruts in paved areas. Some of the paved areas have broken down to dirt already.
Monday’s decision reverses one about a year ago that selectmen made after some residents voiced concern that they wanted the road to turn naturally back to gravel instead of being dug up and rebuilt. The middle of the road would be crowned to let the water drain into the ditches, he said.
The road work would start after the intersection with Hutchinson Road, Johnson said.
Selectmen made the decision after hearing from residents of the road.
“I think a gravel road would be spectacular,” Robert Preble said, even if it is mush two weeks a year during mud season.
Town Manager Ruth Cushman said she spoke to one resident of the road, who couldn’t make it, and the woman had said a good gravel road is better than a bad paved road.
The road will be ground up, and a foot of gravel added with about 4 or 5 inches of reclaim on top of it, Johnson said. He would have enough money between this year’s budget and next year’s budget to do the job. It would be started after the Farrington Road is done.
In another road matter, selectmen decided not to pursue a $1 million bond to do road work over several years. The idea was to borrow the money and get caught up on some of the worst roads. But with the cuts that are being made in town and school budgets, and not finding any no-interest money to borrow, McCourt recommended that the board hold back on the project for now.
The lowest rate so far has been more than 4 percent for 30 years or the expected life of the project, Cushman said. The town has been entered into a pool of no-interest money and Cushman said she would let selectmen know how that goes.
Selectmen also voted to enter into an agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation to install a flashing beacon at the intersection of routes 4 and 17 and Old Jay Hill Road in North Jay.
Residents in the area requested the flashing light several years ago.
The DOT agrees to provide 100 percent of the funding for the project and to procure a contract to furnish and install the flashing beacon as part of the project. The DOT would retain all ownership of the beacon and all equipment, and agrees to be responsible for any repair or replacement necessary to correct any manufacturer’s defect or faulty workmanship during the one-year warranty.
The town agrees to operate and maintain the beacon, including repairs and correcting malfunctions and deficiencies. The town is also responsible for the electrical service and electricity.
In other business, selectmen unofficially agreed to have the tennis courts fixed using money from timber harvesting on the town’s recreational lot.
The courts are now closed due to disrepair. McCourt said he received a call on it from a resident.
Voters rejected spending about $76,000 a few years ago to repair the courts near the elementary school.
Johnson and Cushman were authorized to look into the cost of material and to have the town crew do most of the project.