WILTON – The town’s Road Committee presented their proposal for the town to take a $500,000 road bond to Selectmen Tuesday.
The committee realizes that the town is not able to fund an upkeep of roads in the way it has been done, a conservative safe approach, John Welch, foreman of the Public Works Department told the board.
Borrowing funds, the town could help “keep more of our roads in ‘good’ condition” while also keeping the amount budgeted for road work the same and actually saving the town money within their five year plan, he said.
The bond funds would be used for pavement treatments now that could avoid expensive pavement rehabilitation later.
With 52 miles of road to cover within the town and several of those considered highly traveled roads everyday, projects undertaken during a given year really need repair by the time the town finishes working through other roads and gets back to that road, he said.
Roads need to be rebuilt at that point, he said.
A plan that needs taxpayer approval at June’s town meeting, the funds could be available by the spring of 2011 and first payment of $120,000 per year due in 2012.
The $500,000 loaned money combined with this year’s appropriation of $250,000 for roads and another $150,000 appropriated in 2011 would give the town $900,000 to “frontload” road work over the two year period, said Selectman Irv Faunce who also served on the Road Committee.
Welch estimated 20 percent of the town’s roads could be addressed with the $900,000. The goal of a bond or loan from a private institution is to avoid and minimize future costs.
“A bond would give the town a “leg up” towards getting our roads back into acceptable condition without an increase to the taxpayers over what the town has been spending on roads annually for the past 20 years. The town would not be spending any more money than in the past, but would use it differently,” as stated in the committee’s proposal.
With approval of the bond, the committee recommends work on 5.5 miles of road at a cost of $273,000 as included in this year’s budget proposal. Next year 6 miles of overlaid would be completed with $100,000 of reconstruction work, $25,000 shim/seal and $5,000 crack seal work completed.
In 2012, the $250,000 budget would include a $120,000 payment, $100,000 of reconstruction work, $25,000 shim/seal and $5,000 crack seal.
The 2012 budget plan would continue through 2015. Welch recommended “doing it again” by taking another bond once this first five year bond is paid off.
The $100,000 reconstruction work listed per year is work that would be done by the town crew while the bond funds would cover paving that the town crew cannot do.
The committee, comprised of Faunce, Jeff Adams, Mike Wells, Peter Chamberlain and Welch, have met over the winter to consider how to keep roads intact despite increasing costs.