WOODSTOCK—Woodstock selectmen last week heard concerns about the effect of the use of the Perkins Valley Road to detour traffic from Route 26 during emergencies.
Fire Chief Kyle Hopps said the town road “gets beat up every time you put traffic up it,” noting it happens three or four times a year.
Most of the problem stems from tractor trailer trucks traveling the road, often at fast speeds and sometimes when driving on the sides of the road when meeting each other, he said.
Hopps said using Old County Road might be an alternative, but that would require rerouting through three towns and many more emergency personnel to execute it.
Town Manager Vern Maxfield said the town of Paris had added gravel to widen the shoulders of one of its town roads that is used for detours.
The Woodstock officials estimated they might be able to do the same thing at a cost of $30,000. Selectman Shawn Coffin, however, suggested that a better approach would be to simply hold tractor trailer trucks on Route 26, preventing them from using the Perkins Valley Road until the obstruction was cleared. That step, he said, would quickly prompt the drivers to get on their truck radios and alert other truckers to avoid the area.
“I’d rather just park them,” Coffin said, noting the town has already put a lot of money into the Perkins Valley Road.
Selectman Ron Deegan agreed, saying he did not believe it would be worthwhile to add gravel to the road. The board reached consensus to drop the idea.
Fifth-grade Boston trip
Selectmen also voted to ask for $1,000 at the annual town meeting to go toward the Woodstock Elementary School’s fifth-grade spring trip to Boston.
The trip is made annually, and selectmen said they support making that contribution each year.
Coffin proposed the donation, noting that each year the class raises funds for the trip, but that this year so far they are about $3,000 short of the goal.
He said the trip was an important one to the students.
Deegan agreed, saying it was the climax of the fifth-grade year. He suggested money the town might contribute could come from the $20,000 community benefit fund the town receives from the Spruce Mountain Wind Project.
Committing to a contribution this year, he said, would mean the town would be obliged to do so each year and would be involved “for the long haul.”

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