BY ANGELO LYNN
BRANDON — Last week’s heavy rains caused road damage throughout the area, sending road crews to unplug clogged culverts, deal with damaged road surfaces, and, in Brandon, deal with storm water overflows into the towns waste water treatment plant.
Town Manager David Atherton reported to the selectboard that Stone Mill Dam Road was washed out, Old Brandon Road had a washout and “impaired cross culvert” and Route 7 by Steinberg Road was plugged twice by sediment flowing into it.
The storm also sent an overflow of runoff into the Newton Road pump station, to which Atherton said he had to call the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and discuss “possible solutions and available financial options to decrease our high infiltration in the collection.”
Atherton said town crews had new pump parts ordered and were working to have a new pump installed in 4-6 weeks. He said state officials were supportive of making this a top priority and were supportive of the quick repairs.
In other news about town infrastructure, Atherton reported that the mandatory pre-bid meeting for the Arnold District culvert was held on May 18 with five contractors attending and the bid opening on June 3. On May 12, the bid opening was held for the town’s wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Of the three qualified bids, Naylor & Breen of Brandon had the lowest bid at $5,585,197. They met with them on May 24 to discuss the project further.
In board action, the selectboard:
• Approved a motion to allocate $158,000 of local option money toward the Newton Road Pump Station project, which would serve as the town’s match to other funding;
• Discussed with the town’s tree warden Neil Silins measures to locate and take down hazardous trees or tree limbs hanging over roadways. The selectboard directed the tree warden to canvass any hazardous situations and discuss with the town manager the next best steps, depending on budget considerations and public safety. Silins asked that Brandon residents also contact him or the town office to report any hazardous trees on their own. “If anyone sees a dangerous tree, give us a call and let us know where it is; that would be a big help.”
• Appointed Erin Ballantine to the energy committee, making her the sixth member of the committee.
• Discussed parking on Park Street near the library and how it can be difficult for homeowners there to pull out into Park Street safety. The town manager said he would discuss the problem with town crews to see how they could mitigate the difficulty.
• Heard a long report by the town’s representatives to the Otter Creek Watershed Insect Control District about operating with a shortage of funds. It was agreed that the town would talk to its state representatives to better understand the lack of funding, and with other towns, try to request additional funding in future years.
The selectboard meeting was preceded by a hearing of a vicious dog, which lasted from 6:30 until almost 7:30, delaying the start of the selectboard meeting by half an hour. See the resolution of that meeting in an accompanying story.