Lake Road Flood Corrected, CLEPO Sues for Lawsuit Costs

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In mid-October when this reporter viewed the construction of the relocated Lake Road, it seemed to be a welcome, wider alternative to the narrow, serpentine, woodsy road it was replacing, albeit lacking the charm of the woods. The road was already in use, but on Tuesday, October 25, Suffield awoke to the effects of over four inches of overnight rain, and the new road was largely flooded. Fortunately, lakeside residents were not stranded, as the old road was still available, but Facebook lit up with photos and complaints.

Crestview, the road’s builder and new owner-operator of the nearby sand pit, immediately took steps to provide better opportunities for road water to drain away. On the following Sunday morning, after another overnight deluge, there were only a few large puddles, which cautious drivers could avoid. Town engineer Gerry Turbet advised that he was working with Crestview to achieve the helpful improvements.

The surface of the new road showed it to have survived the downpours well. On the stretch of the old road adjacent to Copper Hill Road, which was widened and rebuilt and still being used, some small potholes had developed in the new surface. These were soon repaired. In addition, more drainage was established for the new road after the second deluge, and the promised bus-turning circle was created by clearing, grading, and paving an extra-wide spot near the intersection with Colony Road.

To the north of the old road, where sand pit operations will resume, Crestview has been removing topsoil and what miners call overburden, to reveal good, marketable sand.

In a related matter, the Congamond Lakes Environmental Protection Organization has taken a new legal step. CLEPO has filed suit against Paul Pellerin, the sole abutting landowner in the organization’s 2014 appeal in Superior Court, which had achieved a judgement in 2015 revoking the Lake Road sand pit’s permit to reopen. But, as reported in the May 2017 issue of the Observer, Pellerin had withdrawn from the original case, allowing the permit to be reinstated.

The funds CLEPO had collected for the case from donations and fund-raising events had been exhausted by the original appeal, and there are still bills to pay. But the organization reports that they have found a lawyer willing to file a new appeal for a fee contingent on success. The appeal, dated October 17, claims that Pellerin has not paid his share of the organization’s costs and asks for unspecified damages. The defendant’s response was due on November 29. His lawyer, Edward McAnaney, when approached by the Observer on November 13, had no comment.

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