STRONG — Selectmen held an emergency meeting Tuesday, agreeing to schedule the Pond Road paving project now that $40,000 in donations toward the job has been secured.

“We have all $40,000,” Treasurer Sandra Howard said Tuesday night.

Selectmen told voters at a special town meeting June 18 that they expected $40,000 in private donations. Voters approved borrowing up to $170,000 from Franklin Savings Bank to pay for paving 1.1 mile.

With the $40,000, the town will pay Pike Industries $153,268 through the bank loan. That amount doesn’t include the bank’s interest.

Last week learned they were short $10,000 in contributions and decided against moving ahead without first explaining the situation to taxpayers. At the end of that meeting longtime summer resident Herb Neil, who lives on Pond Road, pledged the remaining $10,000.

The section of Pond Road from Beanie’s Beach Road to Story Book Lane will be paved in the fall, highway foreman Duayne Boyd said.

Also Tuesday, the board continued discussion from last week when Selectman Rob Elliott said he was concerned that broken lights on a piece of town equipment could leave the town liable if there was an accident.

Boyd said he didn’t know what standard selectmen expected.

“Are things supposed to be in inspectable condition every single day before things leave the garage?” he asked.

Selectman Mike Pond, the board’s liason for the highway department, suggested someone should develop a maintenance plan.

“If somebody wants to build a maintenance schedule … I guess I could,” he said.

Pond and Boyd would be part of the project, but Pond wanted discussion at the next meeting to be in executive session. He said he didn’t oppose making a maintenance schedule, but he didn’t want public discussion that appeared to be critical of Boyd’s job performance.

“Some parts of this should be talked about in a public forum, and some parts shouldn’t be talked about in public,” he said.

Selectmen Rod Spiller, Dick Worthley and Rob Elliott said a discussion of the maintenance schedule of town vehicles wasn’t a personnel issue or an opportunity to criticize Boyd’s work.

“I’d like to say that I hope we can work collaboratively to solve some sort of problem,” Spiller said. “There’s definitely some tension.”


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