BEACON FALLS — In March, voters approved two out of three items on a proposed bond package. Now, Board of Finance member Louis Krepinevich is taking another run at getting the town’s support to purchase equipment that was included in the item that failed.
The bond item that failed was about $5.1 million for road and sanitary sewer main improvements. Included in this item was about $1.6 million to purchase “Benedetti recycled hot emulsified asphalt treatment equipment,” for the reclaiming of town roads, and cover the associated costs for building a storage facility for the machinery and training for town staff.
The equipment digs up to three inches of a road, adds an additive to the ground up asphalt and then reapplies it to the road, all in one step. It’s felt the equipment will allow the town to resurface roads at a much lower cost than hiring a private contractor.
Using an average cost of $220,000 to repave a mile of a road, Krepinevich said the equipment would pay for itself in less than three years if the town used it on five miles of roads each year.
Krepinevich added there’s the possibility the town could lease out the equipment to surrounding municipalities.
“I think it’s a winner. I know it’s a winner,” said Krepinevich, who researched buying the equipment prior to the referendum on the bond package.
The $5.1 million bond item was rejected by 66 votes, 225 to 291.
Krepinevich felt the item failed because there was a lot of misinformation being circulated prior to the referendum about the Benedetti equipment.
Krepinevich has scheduled four meetings to discuss the equipment with the public and town officials and answer questions about it. On May 16, he will meet with the town road crew. Then, on Tuesday, May 17 Krepinevich will hold a public meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss the equipment with the public. Representatives from Benedetti will be coming to town May 23 and 24 to answer questions in person. The May 23 meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at town hall, and the May 24 meeting will be a joint informational meeting with the boards of finance and selectmen at 7 p.m. at the fire house.
“I’m just trying to clarify any of the false information that was out there and to educate the people,” Krepinevich said.
Representatives of the company that manufacturers the equipment will be in town later this month to meet with residents as well, Krepinevich said. It’s Krepinevich’s hope to get the town’s support in putting the $1.6 million purchase up for another vote.
“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think it was a homerun for the town,” Krepinevich said.