DUMMERSTON—Members of the Selectboard and Town Clerk Pam McFadden joined Roads Foreman Lee Chamberlin for a tour of the town’s roads on Aug. 26.
“It was a good tour, especially for the three newer members of the board,” Board Chair Zeke Goodband wrote in an email to The Commons. He said the event gave the group the opportunity to see Chamberlin “in his natural habitat.”
“They were able to see how competent he is and how seriously he takes his responsibilities,” Goodband added.
The general consensus among attendees was the roads tour was very helpful for learning about Dummerston’s various classes of roads and in what condition they are. Members also noted how well Chamberlin responds to complaints and problems.
“I continue to be impressed with Lee’s knowledge of taking care of the roads,” board member Jerelyn Wilson said at the Sept. 2 board meeting during the roads tour recap. “There’s a lot to know,” she added.
Goodband said one interesting part of the tour was seeing Fisch Road in West Dummerston, which is currently a Class 4 road, meaning it is not eligible for state funding, is usually not maintained during the winter, and may be discontinued as a town road.
During his Roads Report at the Aug. 19 Selectboard meeting, Chamberlin suggested the board change Fisch Road’s status to a Class 3 road, which calls for the town to maintain it year-round.
In his email, Goodband explained why. “The town has been maintaining [Fisch Road] as though it was a Class 3 road for a number of years, [and] there are quite a few homes on that road. The town would then be able to receive some state funding for its maintenance.”
The roads tour also ventured to the top of Hague Road to see the underlayment Chamberlin and his crew installed in response to residents’ complaints about drainage.
“These are perforated plastic pipes buried at the edge of the road to help drain off water; it greatly reduces the amount of mud during mud season,” Goodband said. “It wasn’t that long ago when Hague Road residents sometimes had to park and walk up the hill during mud season. The Highway Department has put in quite a lot of this underlayment and it seems to have improved conditions during mud season.”
Wilson said the tour “was a lot of fun.”
“I think we should do it next year,” said Goodband.