Alna selectmen

Sand Building Road talks turn to association

Sat, 01/22/2022 - 8:45am

    Alna will have its attorney work with the town’s abutters along Sand Building Road, to form a road association that will include the town. Selectmen’s decision Friday night, Jan. 21 aimed to address the years-long issue of the road’s maintenance.

    “(An association) makes the most logical sense, and benefits everyone,” Third Selectman Charles Culbertson said.

    As with past town talks, the ones Jan. 19 and 21 touched on the road’s users, including homeowners on it, other Alna residents seeking buckets of sand for home use, and the town’s plowing contractor; and how much the town can or should pay toward a private road’s maintenance. Residents also questioned recent spending of $6,100 on the road without a board vote.

    To that point, First Selectman Ed Pentaleri said the board and road commissioner will need to work together when spending on roads so selectmen can vote as he said a town meeting article called for and which, he said, would hold selectmen accountable. Pentaleri added, the recent spending of road funds without a board vote was consistent with past practice, and everyone acted in good faith.

    In a single vote, the board authorized, and found no irregularities in, thousands of dollars of past highway funds spending this fiscal year to several firms for several projects around town. As for the planned road association for Sand Building Road, selectmen noted multiple attorneys have raised it to the town as an option.

    The meeting in person and on Zoom took two nights, after the internet connection was lost Jan. 19 and the board announced it would finish the agenda items Jan. 21.

    Also Jan. 19, selectmen kept William H. Brewer, CPA for auditing services, and thanked the masonic lodge in Wiscasset for a $500 donation to the food pantry. Jan. 21, selectmen decided to have working, Wednesday morning meetings the weeks they do not meet on Wednesday night. The working meetings will be announced so the public can attend but the point is for selectmen to share information with one another, plan tasks and plan agendas for the regular meetings, Pentaleri said. And there might not be a Zoom link or minutes, he said.

    The first working meeting is 10 a.m. Jan. 26 at the town office. Resident Ralph Hilton said that time will keep people who work days from attending. Pentaleri said that is a consideration and the time may be revisited. A morning meeting will aid the board’s access to town staff, he said.

    Following up on issues raised Jan. 5 with Holbrook Excavation’s job treating icy roads that day, Pentaleri said one truck was out of service then, and the Woolwich firm has multiple trucks to use in Alna. Pentaleri said he received no complaints in a Jan. 17 storm; the town passed along a request Jan. 19 to Holbrook to sand the Cross Road-Golden Ridge Road intersection; icing there may be due to a ditch that needs maintenance, Pentaleri said.