Wilton board tables discussion on discontinuing roads

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WILTON — Selectmen on Tuesday tabled discussion on discontinuing roads, saying they have more important issues to handle before town meeting.

Chairman D. Scott Taylor said the issue will not be brought to town meeting in June. He and board members Terry Brann and Tiffany Maiuri were at the meeting.

Earlier this month, the board sought a review and recommendation from the Road Committee about discontinuing roads that have more or less become “long driveways,” as Brann called them. 

The roads were considered for discontinuance in 2006 but nothing was done, he said at previous meetings. Brann thought the town could save money by not maintaining roads that have only one home.

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With time to only research and consider one road, the board asked the committee to consider Tilton Road after Brann reported debris from a collapsing barn was near or on the roadway, and to review the others.

The Road Committee brought the issue back to the board to have it establish criteria for discontinuing roads, mainly to avoid legal liability for the town, road foreman and committee member John Welch said.

“There’s nothing in place to make an objective decision on,” Taylor agreed. “It opens us up to legal liability.”

Maiuri moved to table the discussion.

“It’s not my goal to do it in a hurry,” Brann said.

About a half dozen residents sought answers and most thought the issue was resolved in 2006.

“Elderly people are concerned about the roads being closed,” Mary Melcher said. “It’s very frustrating.”

“We’re not picking on anyone,” Taylor said. “We need a policy in place.”

After the last meeting, the code enforcement officer visited the Tilton Road and took photos of the barn.

“It’s not a collapsing barn,” property owner Peter Tilton said. The roof fell straight down in January due to ice and snow and will be fixed in April, he said.

Town plows are not having any problem plowing, road foreman Welch said.

Irish said the problem is finding records to determine where the road right of way is. 

abryant@sunjournal.com

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