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Newfane briefs

Road Foreman report

NEWFANE—NEWFANE — Newfane Road Foreman Todd Lawley said that “most roads are in pretty good shape right now,” during his report to the Selectboard at their June 1 meeting.

“We’ve been grading every day, unless it rains,” he said, adding, “we’ve been putting gravel down on some of the roads.”

Lawley said his crew is still working on smaller roads, now that mud season is over. His workers have also been cleaning culverts with the back-hoe, and “some by hand,” he said.

They are also cleaning off the bridges, much to the state’s delight. “The state likes towns to sweep off the bridges,” Lawley said. “It helps keep the decks in better condition and keeps the rust off the bridges.”

Lawley said the town’s 2011 Ford F-350 truck “went to Durand Ford [in Bellows Falls] to have two front axle joints put in,” but the cost is covered under warranty, minus a $100 deductible, he said.

The town’s 2013 Mack truck has to go to State Line Truck Service for a broken rear spring, Lawley said. “Otherwise, the equipment is running pretty good at this time.”

Lawley also told the board he spoke with the contractor responsible for cleaning up the mess on Steepway Road, caused by the company’s unilateral decision to “work on” the road when they performed work on the cell tower site. [See “Steepway Road Suffers Damage,” June 3.]

“He said he’d do it right,” Lawley said, referring to the Wireless Connection’s claim.

Town Clerk Gloria Cristelli asked if he knew when the work would begin.

“Within the week,” Lawley responded, adding that his department “goes up every day to check their work."

“We just want to make sure it’s done properly,” said Selectboard member Carol Hatcher.

Roads and bridges tour scheduled

NEWFANE — Newfane’s Roads & Bridges Tour was scheduled for June 15. During the tour, Roads Foreman Todd Lawley said he would bring participants on a tour to see the town’s roads and bridges.

The request was generated by the Selectboard, but the public was invited to attend.

Lawley — who also serves as the Chair of Newfane’s Selectboard — reminded the board that because it is likely more than three Selectboard members will take the tour, Open Meeting Law dictates the meeting be officially warned.

Lawley asked Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle to issue the warning.

He also asked her if she would attend.

“Can I drive the truck,” she asked.

“Sure,” Lawley said, “I’ll walk. But you can drive.”

Update on 279 Dover Road

NEWFANE — No asbestos was found at the site of 279 Dover Road, said Newfane Selectboard Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle.

The town had to have the building on the property tested for the contaminant prior to ordering its demolition.

The building suffered damage during Tropical Storm Irene. The town, and the building’s owner, Marie Peroni, have been engaged in a long process to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete the buyback process, Meckle wrote in an email to The Commons.

“The homeowner is anxious to move forward, as she’s been in limbo for three years,” Meckle wrote.

Now that the asbestos-testing hurdle has been completed, she will file the report with the state and get the demolition portion of the project out to bid, Meckle told the Selectboard at its June 1 regular meeting.

Roof repair update

NEWFANE — Although the town of Newfane requested bids from three companies to repair the town office building’s slate roof, only one company responded, said Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle.

AT Goodband offered to replace “over 100 slates” for $4,000, Meckle told the Selectboard at its June 1 meeting.

When the board expressed sticker shock, Meckle told its members “about 100 slates” might be an underestimate, because Asa Goodband had not even looked at the entire roof.

Board member Rosalind Fritz questioned why the town should spend so much money patching up a roof that needs so much work, and recommended looking into a standing-seam roof. Because the Newfane town office building is not a historic building, the town is not constrained to keeping a slate roof.

Meckle said she saw Fritz’s point, but said “the roof needs to be repaired now,” because the wood under the slate is exposed. Board chair Todd Lawley concurred, noting the risk of mold.

Town Clerk Gloria Cristelli reminded the board that “this has been going on for two years,” and “something needs to be done now."

She also said slates are “coming down,” and the garden club that maintains the flower beds surrounding the building are at risk, as are children playing in the yard.

She recommended putting “danger” signs around the building, warning of falling slates.

Town selects an attorney

NEWFANE — In anticipation of upcoming tax lien sales, Newfane Treasurer and Tax Collector Maureen Albert-Piascik asked the Selectboard to approve her request to hire Alexander Shriver of Potter Stewart Jr. Law Offices of Brattleboro to represent the town.

Albert-Piascik said she had worked with Shriver last year for the same purpose.

The board approved her request at their June 1 meeting.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #310 (Wednesday, June 17, 2015). This story appeared on page C1.

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