Split vote gets asphalt at Westport Island’s Wright Landing

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 8:45am

    With multiple projects lately at Wright Landing, Westport Island Third Selectman Ross Norton on Monday night did not want to pay to pave an area of the town-owned property. “The spending is getting out of hand,” he told fellow selectmen via UberConference.

    “It’s coming to an end,” Second Selectman Gerald Bodmer said of this year’s work that has included preparations for a history center at Wright House. Deputy Municipal Agent Gaye Wagner explained the work will help people get to the food pantry. “People were getting stuck in the mud (last spring) and we had a gentleman who ... had to get out of his vehicle and walk through the mud, and he was very unsteady on his feet ... So I do think you need to think about that being safe for the clientele ... This is not a history center project.”

    Bodmer and First Selectman George Richardson went with a $1,700 offer over a $2,200 one from Gene Reynolds. Norton dissented. Officials could not immediately recall who offered to put in the two-inch thick asphalt for $1,700.

    Richardson said nothing is cheap in today’s world and putting the job out to bid could delay it until colder, wetter weather. “I just don’t think that is too expensive,” he said of the $1,700 offer.

    Also Monday, the board learned the town will pay more than first thought for the town office’s internet upgrade. Jason Kates of the broadband and cable committee said it turned out Spectrum’s $50 a month offer was if the town also got the phone service he said would go out if the power went out. The board did not go with the phone service and opted to pay $70 a month for 11 months, for 12 months’ service. Kates said it would go up about $20 a month the second year. Until next town meeting, payments might be able to come out of the office supplies account, Richardson said.

    And Wagner provided a draft of a mid-term report to the state on the town’s use of $5,881 in CARES Act funds. The draft notes the grant covered audio visual equipment, signage and safety supplies for town meeting July 18. “Feedback indicated attendees felt the meeting was successful and safe; we can’t think of anything we would have done differently.”

    The draft also lists hand sanitizer dispensers and Center for Disease Control posters for businesses and town-owned sites; an awning for the municipal agent to conduct business at an outside walk-up window; and signage to direct people through the town office’s new “business flow” and remind them of social distancing and other CDC safety steps.