WILTON — The Wilton Board of Selectpersons held a discussion on Tuesday, Dec. 20, over the closure of Magrath Rd. to winter maintenance. Two residents currently occupy the road and were in attendance for the meeting.

Kara Moody, along with her neighbor Benjamin Bourassa, appeared before the board to hear an update over the closure of winter maintenance to Magrath Rd.

“In a 2009 meeting, the town voted to allow the Select Board the authority to close roads to winter maintenance under MSRA 2953,” Town Manager Perry Ellsworth said. “They also have done the same thing back in 1986.”

According to Ellsworth, an order is needed to close the road and the closure is only valid for ten years. This led to a discussion amongst the board over the validity of discontinuing winter maintenance to roads like Magrath Rd.

“I guess my question would be for me is so if we have to do it for 10 years, so that would put us to 2019,” Chairperson David Leavitt stated. “So, does that automatically deem the closing null and void?”

“No, but it creates an issue that we need to bring up [with] all of these roads that are closed,” Ellsworth responded.


Other roads mentioned that were closed to winter maintenance included Cemetery Rd. and Hanslip Rd. The issue regarding Magrath Rd.’s closure centers around the condition of the road and the town’s inability to plow without risking significant damage to their equipment.

“In order for us to be able to plow that road with our equipment, the estimate is $75,606, which doesn’t include three weeks of time with our entire crew doing the work,” Ellsworth stated.

This work would need to be performed in the summer to get it to standard, which would then allow winter maintenance to occur once snow starts to fall.

“To put it in the right shape, that is the estimate that we have for that particular road,” Ellsworth said.

The reason for the cost is the rental of equipment such as an excavator and a roller. Ellsworth also mentioned Farmer Rd., which is another road that is due for the same maintenance as Magrath Rd.

“The estimate for that without any equipment or town time, is $52,900,” Ellsworth commented “So, $53,000 for rebuilding that road. There’s been some conversation about if we do one, we might have to do the other.”


Both roads have two residents that occupy homesteads year-round.

Bourassa approached the board to ask about wetlands that are located near the road.

“I don’t know about the wetlands down there and whether I’m going to need a permit by rule or not yet. I haven’t gotten that far with this,” Ellsworth said.

“All I can say to the folks that what my suggestion is that you keep your ear wide open here for opportunities to discuss this as we move into the budgetary process. And we try to help you get through this winter and then it’ll be up to this board whether or not they want to continue the discontinuance,” he added when speaking to the residents living on the road.

This sparked a debate between Ellsworth and the board members over the wording of the rule and if there wasn’t a public hearing in 2019 to renew that discontinuance, should it be allowed to continue.

“So technically, it shouldn’t be closed, because there was no meeting in 2019. Correct?” one of the board members asked Ellsworth.

“Yes and no,” Ellsworth responded. “I would say that we’re in arrears as a town with keeping up with the 10-year closure thing, but it doesn’t mean that it automatically is dismissed, someone would have had to apply. We’ve started looking into it and more to come as soon as possible.”

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