March 2018

First Selectman’s Update

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Melissa Mack

Melissa Mack

Based on resident feedback and site visits, the Town Engineer and Highway Foreman recently initiated a productive meeting with Crestview Construction regarding Lake Road. Lake Road is a private road, with a major portion crossing Crestview-owned property. The road’s current condition – muddy, rutted and marred with pot holes – creates difficult travel. The Town’s primary goal is safe passage for residents and emergency vehicles. Crestview representatives share these sentiments, and agreed to drainage and general road improvements beginning in late March/early April. Lake Road will NOT, however, be moved. Because improvements cannot begin until milder weather, in the interim the Highway Department will continue to apply salt to melt icy spots and offer plowing services. Crestview will fill potholes with gravel, add sand to rutted areas, and apply salt to sloped areas as needed. Although not owned by Crestview, the company will continue to maintain the first 1,000 feet of Lake Road to meet requirements of the Planning & Zoning permit. Residents should direct any issues to the attention of the First Selectman’s Office at fsadmin@suffieldct.gov.

Drainage and general improvements to be made in the Spring are as follows:

Supply and install 6 inches of processed aggregate meeting DOT specifications

Grade the processed aggregate to result in more pronounced crown and grade side slopes to facilitate drainage on both sides of road

Add cross drain culverts in low areas

Add and maintain millings as available to first 1,000 feet of entryway

Seed and lawn adjacent road areas (following paving)

Upon completion, Crestview will gift the road to the Town of Suffield should the Town be agreeable. Acceptance of a Town Road requires approval by the Board of Selectmen and residents via Town Meeting. Given width constraints of Lake Road, a Planning & Zoning variance may be required. Thereafter, the Town would plan for paving Lake Road. As with all Town roads, an additional assessment on property values benefiting from the improvements will be levied to account for the increased maintenance fees associated with the road. In turn, Lake Road residents are ensured unlimited access to their properties, resolving uncertainties currently existing in many homeowners’ deeds, while the Town assumes full maintenance of the road.

Once Lake Road is a Town Road, paving will follow:

Total of 2,500 feet paved up to Colony Road

3 inch pavement comprised of two layers

         * 1.5 inch binder

         * 1.5 inch finish

24 feet width

Paint yellow center and white fog lines

Total cost to Town approx. $80,000 (paving and painting)

Many worked to find an amicable resolution for all involved with Lake Road. We look forward to approving the above, implementing the needed work and putting this chapter behind us.

A number of other private roads in Suffield face similar challenges as Lake Road. Typically, Homeowner Associations for private roads prove unable to comply with necessary upkeep. In the past, Suffield maintained these roads for safety, but often did so inconsistently and dependent on those with decision making authority. Lake Road presents an opportunity to tackle the matter of all private roads. The Town Engineer has amassed information on the Town’s nearly seven miles of private roads including needs and cost to both repair and maintain them to better standards. How to equitably address the private roads’ issues will be considered by the Boards of Selectmen and Finance, and the Planning and Zoning Commission. In addition, all parties affected by any action will be invited to weigh in on any proposed plan culminating with a final decision by Town Meeting. Resolution of this matter, needless to say, is long overdue.

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