I have heard numerous complaints this summer about the condition of roads in town. Route 7 is the busiest road in town and the one we receive the most complaints about. You may not be aware that the state transportation agency known as VTRANS is responsible for maintaining Route 7. They perform the regular maintenance such as winter plowing as well as major repairs, which include resurfacing. I have been talking with them for several months about the poor condition of the road through Milton, and they have been telling me that it would be paved this year. I’m pleased that VTRANS paved Route 7 last week. This work significantly improves the immediate travel conditions but, is the not the permanent repairs that are needed.

Speaking of paving, at a recent selectboard meeting the board authorized me to sign a contract with S.D. Ireland to pave the following roads this fall: Lena Court, Ira Place, Jonzetta Court, James Drive and Cobble Hill Road. The cost to pave these roads is totals $278,000. This leaves $22,000 in the budget to make temporary repairs to Bear Trap, Hardscrabble and Lake roads. This work, combined with the $980,000 we spent last year on paving, totals just over $1.25 million, and yet we continue to fall behind. Next year we would have to budget in excess of $1.4 million to complete all of the work in our current plan. There just isn’t enough money at the town or state level to make all of the road repairs needed.

When you enter the lobby of the municipal building, you will now find a new piece of furniture. The new information display was handcrafted by treasurer John Gifford over several weeks. The display incorporates our official postings, recreational opportunities, zoning permits and all other events in one central place. Other furniture has been rearranged to improve the overall appearance of the entry. Thank you, John!  

We are continuing to work to clean out the old water plant. The online auction proceeds totaled $3,215. Approximately 40 people showed up for our free give-away at which about 25 items were removed. The final step in this process is to discard the rest of the items.

Two staff members brought to my attention a slightly used tow behind gang mower that was offered for sale by a local business. A new unit costs between $16,000-$18,000, and our current mower would need to be replaced within two years. I had our mechanic inspect the unit, and he found it on very good condition. We negotiated a purchase price of $5,700 to be paid for with impact fees and capital dollars.

The highway department had an accidental spill of liquid magnesium chloride (30 percent by weight) at the highway shop. The material is used for dust suppression and salting roads was being transferred from onsite tanks to a tanker truck. The plastic tank on the truck was overfilled and split causing a release of the magnesium chloride. The highway crew used 2,000 gallons of water to dilute the product as specified.

We interviewed consultants for the East Road bridge work and have chosen a consultant. Design and permitting will take place this winter in anticipation of bridges No. 5 and 6 being replaced late next year.

I’m happy to welcome Amy Couture back. Amy had worked in the assessor’s office for a several years and decided to leave earlier this year to pursue another opportunity. We did not immediately fill the position because we were close to finalizing an information conversion project and did not want to train a new employee on the old system. The conversion is now finished, and we are happy to have Amy back working with us to move Milton forward.

Please feel free to contact me at the town manager’s office 893-6655 or email dturner@town.milton.vt.us, and I will be happy to assist you.