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City Council Authorizes Funds for Road Work

men working on roads

Photo: sumanamul15 from Pixabay

By Renée Morin

At the June 18 City Council meeting, in a 5–1 vote, with Councilor Ayn Hanselmann dissenting, the council authorized the transfer of up to $400,000 of unexpended Public Works funds (from personnel and other accounts) to road work, with the plan being to work until the funds run out.

The following roads are candidates for preservation paving:

• Emery Street from Heritage Crossing to High Street: (not including bridge deck)

• Goodwins Bridge Road

• Grove Street

• Grove Court

• Auger Street

• Miller Street

• June Street

• Beaconsfield Street

• Nowell Street

• Jackson Street, from School Street to Dale Street

There was much discussion over whether the funds would be put to better use through this initiative or if the city should prioritize filling vacant positions which contributed to some of the funds being unexpended. Hanselmann supported the latter, wishing to revisit conversations regarding positions being continually vacant.

Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy argued for the former, suggesting that the $400,000 could help make up for the money that had previously been cut from the roadway capital Improvement budget.

City Manager Steve Buck explained to the committee that the city’s high turnover rate was partly to blame for vacant positions, and that most of the money would have been unexpended even if those positions had been filled.

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