Selectmen target bond for road work

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Beacon Falls Town Engineer James Galligan discusses possible road repairs to Burton Road during the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday. The board discussed the idea of seeking a $2.3 million bond to fund road repairs. –LUKE MARSHALL
Beacon Falls Town Engineer James Galligan discusses possible road repairs to Burton Road during the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday. The board discussed the idea of seeking a $2.3 million bond to fund road repairs. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The Board of Selectmen plans to pursue a $2.3 million bond to repair roads in town.

Beacon Falls receives $189,000 from the state annually for road repairs, First Selectman Christopher Bielik said Monday night during the board’s meeting.

“It sounds like a lot of money, but when you are trying to redo a road it’s not very much, Bielik said.

Bielik said it costs about $350,000 per mile to repave a road.

Rather than use the money from the state a little at a time, the board is planning to issue a 10-year, $2.3 million bond. Officials are planning to pay the bond back using the money the town receives from the state and $500,000 from a surplus in the general fund.

“The idea of doing it in this way is that by taking the state aid money we are getting and the [general fund] surplus money and putting it into a 10-year bond we essentially make a $2.3 million bond issue be revenue and budget neutral to the people of the town,” Bielik said.

The first road that the board is eyeing for repairs is Burton Road.

“Burton Road is a main drag. It has a lot of issues on it,” Bielik said.

Town Engineer James Galligan said rather than bringing in new asphalt, the town could reclaim the asphalt already along the road. In addition to repaving the road, he said, the town also plans to improve drainage along Burton Road.

Galligan said the road between Highland Avenue and Cook Lane needs the most attention. During the winter time water runs onto the road and freezes, causing dangerous driving conditions, he said. An underdrain pipe would be put in place to prevent the water from reaching the road, he said.

Galligan estimated it will cost $1.43 million to reclaim the approximately 1.8 miles of Burton Road and fix the drainage issues.

That would leave about $900,000 to repair other roads throughout town. The next step is to identify which other roads to fix, Bielik said.

Once the board has a paving plan in place, it will present the plan to the Board of Finance. If the Board of Finance approves the plan, the proposed bond would go to a vote at town meeting.