Town officials looking for state aid to fix storm-damaged roads

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BEACON FALLS — Beacon Falls will join Oxford and Seymour to apply for emergency aid from the state to fix roads damaged in a July 8 storm, according to First Selectman Susan Cable.

Cable reviewed the roads last week and identified about six roads she said were affected by the storm.

A portion of West Road was swept away by floodwaters. Additionally, parts of Back Rimmon Road, Lopus Road, and Skokorat Road were damaged, Cable said. She said none of the damage was major and all roads are still passable.

Meanwhile, other roads in Beacon Falls need repairs, but the town has little money to fix them after voters rejected a $5.1 million bond for road and sanitary sewer main improvements at referendum in March.

Four months later, those roads are still in disrepair, prompting officials to give the bond package another go.

With further damage to roads, the bond amount may need to be higher than the S5.1 million that went to referendum in March, Cable said. She said the Boards of Selectmen and Finance will discuss their options and whether to do the roads in phases.

Wary that, in part, voters rejected the bond package because it included the possibility of purchasing asphalt recycling machinery, Cable said the Benedetti equipment won’t be on the next referendum.

Board of Finance member Louis Krepinevich fought hard to purchase the equipment, which he believed would save the town money.

In May, Krepinevich invited representatives from the Benedetti company to explain their machinery to skeptical residents in hopes that they’d approve it once they saw its benefits.

At least several residents, however, remained skeptical that the machinery would work in Beacon Falls, and officials didn’t want to risk having road repairs fail in referendum again.

Cable said recently that the Council of Governments is looking into purchasing the equipment as a regional effort. She said Benedetti representatives will present their equipment to the council in Waterbury in September.