STRONG — Voters at a special town meeting Tuesday decided to pave both the town tennis court and a little more than a mile of Pond Road.

Several residents noted that the tennis courts on Burbank Hill are heavily used, starting early in the morning during warm weather. Voters at the March town meeting declined to raise and appropriate the requested $3,000. Selectman Mike Pond on Tuesday asked that voters raise and appropriate at least $2,000 to do basic repairs and keep the tennis court open.

“Basically, there are problems with the whole thing,” Selectman Rodney Spiller said.

Selectmen have saved about $4,600 in reserve to do part of the job, board Chairman Dick Worthley said.

“If you raised and appropriated $3,000 and took roughly $5,000 out of surplus, you could do the whole thing,” Pond said.

Those at the meeting agreed with the selectmen’s recommendation to do the whole job, adding $8,000 to the $4,600 already available.

The second article asked voters to approve borrowing $170,000 to pave a 1.1-mile section of Pond Road from Beanie’s Beach Road to Storybook Lane.

Voters approved paving the road in a 38-36 vote.

Residents asked whether the road would be repaired down to the base, because cars regularly sink in the mud in the spring.

“There are times when you can’t get through there with a four-wheel drive,” one resident noted.

Milt Baston asked how the cost of the job would not raise taxes. Several other roads, including Shady Lane, Elizabeth Street and Birch Road are part of the regular paving schedule, and very few people live on those roads, he said. Selectmen seemed to be taking Chandler Road off the paving schedule, when other roads had fewer residents and less traffic, he said.

Pond said the Highway Department takes $19,000 in state road assistance and appropriates $60,000 for the annual paving schedule. The proposed project wasn’t about raising money to pave Pond Road, he said.

“It’s about staying right where we’re at,” Pond said. “I don’t project we’re going to pave the (0.8-mile) Chandler Road for a while.”

Chandler Road cost $90,000 to pave several years ago, according to former highway Foreman Robert Boyd. He suggested that the selectmen should be concerned that postponing paving projects could cost more in future years. Most of the road paving takes two years per road.

Les Snell said he didn’t agree that Pond had done his homework on the financing figures.

“You’re wasting a lot of taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Genelle Baston said she lives on Rocky Shore Lane, a camp road off Pond Road. She was concerned that emergency vehicles would get bogged down if they traveled on the road during mud season.

“What happens if someone gets injured?,” she asked “What about getting an ambulance through there?”

Voters at a special town meeting in Strong on Tuesday night decided to pave 1.1 miles of Pond Road from Beanie’s Beach Road to Storybook Lane.  (Valerie Tucker/Sun Journal)

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