WILTON — Wilton Select Board held a public hearing on Tuesday, May 16, over closing off winter road maintenance on select roads for a period of 10 years.

The hearing was held at the Wilton Town Office and the roads in question were Farmer Road, Cemetery Road, Hanslip Road, and Magrath Road.

The issue of snowplowing and winter road maintenance arose in September when Kara Moody, a future resident of Magrath Road, approached the board to ask about plowing the road in the upcoming winter months.

She along with her neighbor Benjamin Bourassa, who currently lives

The sign which designates the section of Magrath Road that is closed to winter maintenance on Tuesday, May 16. Following the vote from the Select Board the same day, an additional 1,800 ft. beyond this point will be added to the plowing distance after heavy work is done to the make the road safe for town plow trucks and other vehicles. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

on Magrath Road, appeared again in December asking for an update on the plowing situation for Magrath Road. At that meeting, Town Manager Perry Ellsworth explained that in 2009, it was voted by the Select Board to close Magrath Road, along with the other three roads, for winter maintenance.

This closure is only valid for 10 years and the Select Board failed to reopen the issue in 2019, where they were obligated to hold a public hearing and vote to close the roads for winter maintenance. Moody and Bourassa found a temporary solution in January, with the Select Board voting to allow plowing on Magrath Road for the remainder of the winter season.


No residents from Farmer or Cemetery roads were present at the meeting. A resident from Hanslip Road, who did not identify himself, asked about summer maintenance on the road.

Chairperson David Leavitt said summer maintenance was minimal.

The resident from Hanslip stated his primary concern was summer maintenance, as the recent rainfall and flooding from several weeks ago caused damage to his driveway.

“I cleaned out my culvert before I went to bed, woke up at five and my lower driveway was gone,” he stated. “Having driven up that road numerous times and walking up there, it just doesn’t look like it’s been ditched in a long time.”

John Masse, public works foreman, elaborated further by stating they lay down gravel and grade the road as needed and that ditching the road was necessary this year due to the ditch being washed out, but Hanslip Road is one of the last roads that is serviced.

For the section of Magrath Road that is normally closed to winter maintenance, Masse explained that it had been broken up into two sections. The first section is 1,800 ft., and the second section is 2,500 ft. The 1,800 ft. section includes the homes of Bourassa and Moody, with the Bourassa residence marking the end of that section.


The remaining 2,500 ft. is past Bourassa’s homestead and goes until Daniel Knowles Road. The Select Board unanimously voted to close Hanslip, Cemetery and Farmer road, plus the 2,500 ft. section of Magrath Road past Bourassa’s home for winter maintenance.

Masse elaborated that a significant amount of work would be needed to make the 1,800 ft. section of road safe for their equipment to plow in the wintertime.

Leavitt also added that the repairs to Magrath Road would need to be over the course of several years due to budget restrictions and the cost of maintaining other roads.

The Select Board engaged in a discussion over the permitting process and the level of transparency to new home buyers over the restriction of winter maintenance due to actions such as the ones taken by the Select Board.

Former Code Enforcement Officer Charles Lavin, who issued the building permits to both Moody and Bourassa, stated that he made sure both were aware of the lack of winter maintenance to Magrath Road before issuing the permits.

Selectperson Mike Wells took issue over the cost of adding an additional 1,800 ft. of plowing distance to Magrath Road, estimating a cost of $100,000 for two homes over the course of three years.

“Nothing against you guys,” Wells said, addressing Bourassa and Moody. “It’s a cost to the taxpayers of Wilton and it’s a big cost. 100 grand over three years for two houses and try to put that in perspective for people in town that pay their taxes and probably pay higher taxes.”

He continued, “We’re asking the town residents to pony up some cash to open the road, and to maintain the road and to dump 100 grand into it. You have to look at it from both sides. It’s expensive.”

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