BETHEL – Two referendum issues concerning proposed ambulance station improvements and road relocation projects are in the works.

Pending a joint meeting between selectmen and the Budget Committee at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, in the town office, residents may get their say on Nov. 4 during statewide balloting.

Both groups must decide whether or not to appropriate from surplus, $150,000 to improve and expand the ambulance barn, and $8,000 to relocate a portion of the Taylor Smith Road.

Town Manager Scott Cole said that as of June 30, Bethel had an audited undesignated fund balance of $1.3 million. Of that, $250,000 is slated to be used in fiscal year 2004 to reduce taxes.

Without benefit of a formal bid process, Cole estimated that $150,000 would be needed to perform the scope of ambulance station work that Bethel architect James Reuter developed earlier this year.

That work includes improving the ambulance barn and building a 1,500-square-foot ell connected to the barn.

Residents first saw the proposed project at the June 10 town meeting, although the proposal then was to borrow up to $150,000 instead of take it from surplus. It was defeated by a 314-314 tie vote. Despite a subsequent recount, the vote remained unchanged.

The road project involves relocating the intersection of Route 26 and Taylor Smith Road 600 feet in a northerly direction on Route 26. The relocation is intended to improve north-south sight distance at the intersection from 537 feet to more than 1,000 feet in either direction.

It also involves abandoning 1,225 feet of existing road and constructing 900 feet of new road.

A town appropriation of $8,000 would cover the $6,500 cost of hauling road materials to the work site, $1,000 to inspect the construction, and $500 for legal and surveying work.

The money would complement several donations of land, materials, right of way preparation, and road construction services.


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