Special Town Meeting Set for Paving Bonds

Jeff Schultes/Adobe Stock

Financial decisions for an ambitious paving plan will be made at a Special Town Meeting on July 9, now that both the boards of Selectmen and Finance have agreed on a proposal to submit for approval.

The July 9 discussion and show-of-hands vote takes place at 6:00 pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room.

Residents attending will be asked to authorize issuance of up to $6 million in bond anticipation notes, likely split into two tranches, one this year, the other next. Proceeds would fund major work on 37 specified Weston roads, 18 this year and 19 in 2025 (see the list below).

The $6 million total is a cap that cannot be exceeded. Notes would be issued only for amounts needed for each year’s projects, so by the time all is said and done the total could conceivably come to less than the full authorization. But it’s also possible that $6 million won’t be enough.

Originally, estimates for work on all 37 roads came to $7 million, based on the advice of consulting engineers BETA that put milling and paving costs at $40 per square yard. Apparently, the hope is that once bids arrive later in July (assuming voters approve financing) actual costs will be closer to $30 per square yard.

If $30 turns out to be wishful and the cost of all work would exceed $6 million, the Town would be in a bit of a pickle. The difference would have to be made up either by a draw on reserves or by culling the priority list, kicking some roads down the road. Or, the shortfall could be added to a regular capital budget, directly hitting the mill rate and tax bills, a prospect all three selectmen seemed to rule out.

A head start

It’s later in the year than usual to make paving decisions and start work, but Public Works Director Larry Roberts is confident that the Town can beat the buzzer. He told the Board of Finance that two contractors are already interested, and expects several more to bid as well.

Public Works is getting a head start, to the extent they can before voters weigh in. Core samples are being taken to drill down (literally) on what each road needs. Also, the selectmen and finance board approved a $100,000 supplemental appropriation to cover procuring and installing 100 catch basins that will be needed to prepare roads for milling and paving.

The resolution that will be presented to voters at the July 9 Special Town Meeting can be viewed and downloaded here.

2024 priorities

  1. Valley Forge Road (from Davis Hill Road to Newtown Turnpike)
  2. Old Farm Road
  3. Osborn Farm Road
  4. Old Hyde Road (from Lords Highway to the portion that is a dirt road)
  5. River Road (from Weston Road to Good Hill Road)
  6. Good Hill Road (from Weston Road to Steep Hill Road)
  7. Fanton Hill Road (Lyons Plain to Old Easton Tpk.)
  8. Birch Hill Road (from no. 110 to Godfrey Road East)
  9. Kramer Lane
  10. Davis Hill Road (Steep Hill Road to Colony Road)
  11. Weddington Lane
  12. Spruce Hill Road
  13. Samuelson Road
  14. Whippoorwill Lane
  15. School Road (straightaway near the WIS entrance)
  16. Pilgrim Lane
  17. Grey Fox Lane
  18. Grays Farm Road

2025 priorities

  1. Timber Mill Lane
  2. Aspetuck Hill Lane
  3. Martin Road
  4. Autumn Ridge Road
  5. Hyde Ridge Road
  6. Messex Lane
  7. Wood Hill Road
  8. Woods End Lane
  9. Cindy Lane
  10. Lilac Lane
  11. Hemlock Ridge Road
  12. Mountain View Drive
  13. Salem Road
  14. Laurel Lake East
  15. Richmond Hill Road
  16. Sachem Road
  17. Silver Ridge Common
  18. Twin Oak Lane
  19. Norfield Woods Road

A DPW crew installs a new catch basin in preparation for milling and paving. (2019 photo, Weston Today)

The selectmen discuss the plan on May 30. Weston Today photo

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