Resident offers to clear sidewalk in Strong

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STRONG — A resident who offered to clear sidewalks of snow this winter was asked by a selectman Tuesday night to draft an article for the March town meeting for approval to buy equipment.

Steven Johnson, who lives on Main Street, said he is new to the area and was distressed to learn the town does not clear sidewalks in winter. He said he was concerned that pedestrians might not be seen by oncoming cars.

“You gentlemen need to figure something out,” he said. “It’s a very bad situation.”

Although students could ride school buses, they still choose to walk in the road without consideration for drivers, Regional School Unit 58 Director Barbara Worthley said.

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Johnson said if selectmen purchased a snowblower, he would volunteer to clear a section near the school.

“I’ll get a group of us to do that for free,” he said.

Selectman and board Chairman Dick Worthley said selectmen weren’t authorized to take that action. If sidewalks were plowed, he said, they also would have to be sanded. Voters would have to approve purchasing equipment specifically made for sidewalks.

“We’re talking big money,” Worthley told Johnson.

Selectman Mike Pond advised Johnson to draft a warrant article to request the purchase at the March town meeting.

Johnson said he would volunteer time and equipment this winter to keep a section of the Main Street sidewalk clear.

Residents might be upset if he blew snow back onto their property, highway department foreman Duayne Boyd said.

“It’s only snow,” Johnson said. “It’s got to go somewhere.”

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