The Westport Island Roads Committee says town roads need $1.2 million in maintenance and hopes to accomplish the first $350,000 this year.
The Westport Island Board of Selectmen heard from James Cromwell, chair of the roads committee, and committee member Roger Higgins on Monday, April 29.
The committee is recommending that the town repair the roads in three or four phases, beginning with Doggett Road, Greenleaf Road, Lord Road, and North End Road. The work on those roads would cost an estimated $350,000, not including prep work, culvert replacement, and shoulder work.
Other roads on the list for future repairs include Bridge Hill Road, East Shore Road, Haskell Road, Post Office Road, and West Shore Road.
The paving estimates for the roads are as follows: Bridge Hill Road, $36,181; Doggett Road, $64,860; East Shore Road, $231,132; Greenleaf Road, $65,136; Haskell Road, $46,075; Lord Road, $67,704; North End Road, $136,255; Post Office Road (section), $71,360; and West Shore Road, $197,484.
“I know people living on some of the roads will feel left out, but their turn will come,” James Cromwell said. “We just cannot do them all at one time.”
The selectmen were receptive to the recommendations and asked that the committee prepare estimates for prep work, culvert replacements, and shoulder work.
“We will need that information to determine the complete cost of the project,” First Selectman George Richardson Jr. said. “I will also look into the interest rates.”
James Cromwell said that with interest rates going up, now is the time to start on road repairs.
The selectmen will ask Road Commissioner Garry Cromwell to attend a selectmen’s meeting to discuss road maintenance.
Comprehensive plan update
The selectmen received an update from comprehensive plan committee member Dennis Dunbar.
Dunbar informed the board that a draft plan is coming along. The draft includes discussion of the potential impact of sea level rise on town infrastructure.
Dunbar said the town is fortunate to have most of its land at a safe elevation, but several road crossings will be at risk in coming decades.
Two causeways on West Shore Road, the Post Office Road crossing of Squam Creek, and the Baker Road crossing by Mill Cove could need replacement within 10-20 years if projections are correct, according to Dunbar.
The selectmen received an email from RSU 12 Board of Directors member Richard DeVries saying the board is close to fully funding, without grant money, a comprehensive, district-wide preschool program which will run five full days a week with transportation.
According to the email, which quotes RSU 12 Superintendent Howard Tuttle, the RSU 12 preschool program is a collaborative effort with Head Start and is funded exclusively with reimbursement from state subsidy and Head Start federal dollars.
The selectmen acknowledged the 50th anniversary of Municipal and Deputy Clerks Week, May 5-11. The purpose of the anniversary is to recognize and appreciate the service clerks give to their communities.
The selectman appointed Archie Bonyun to the cemetery committee.
The selectmen tabled a request from resident April Thibodeau, who asked to use the senior citizens’ room at the town office some Saturdays for state Rep. Holly Stover, D-Boothbay, to hold open office hours. Stover represents District 89, which includes the island.
The selectmen will ask Thibodeau for the dates and times Stover wants to hold the open hours, so arrangements can be made to have the town office open.