Petersburgh Town Board Action – Broken Wheel Bridge Is Red Tagged
by Alex Brooks
At the July 16 meeting of the Petersburgh Town Board, Town Highway Superintendent Ray Harrison said the bridge over the Little Hoosic River at Broken Wheel Road was red tagged by State inspectors. This was the result of routine annual inspections that are done on an annual basis of all the bridges in Town.
[private]Harrison said there is a piece of the footing of the bridge that is gone, apparently scoured away by the action of the flowing stream. The red tag designation means that it has to be repaired within sixty days. He said the County Engineer is drawing up plans for repairs. When completed, these will be sent to State engineers for approval, and then the Town crew will do the work.
Broken Wheel Bridge, built in 1949, has been scheduled for replacement for over a year. When a Federal Highway official came to town over a year ago and asked Highway Superintendent Harrison to choose one bridge to replace, Harrison was clear that the Broken Wheel bridge is the worst one in town and he wanted it replaced. The project has been wending its way through bureaucratic channels since then, but Town Supervisor Siegfried Krahforst last month expressed a determination to see it through. The project will cost about $750,000, of which the Town is supposed to pay 5%. The Town will also have some interest costs since the funding works on a reimbursement basis. Krahforst said the project has to be in the works in 2013, with design and engineering in progress, and construction will take place in 2014.
In the meanwhile, the Town will undertake repairs this summer to keep it operational until 2014.
Krahforst asked the Town Board for a volunteer to serve as Town Board liaison with the Water District Committee. No one volunteered. Krahforst said if no one else wanted to do it, he would take on the job, but Joe Dunlop said he thought David Alderman had expressed interest. Alderman was not present so Krahforst said he would check with him before making the appointment.
Highway Superintendent Ray Harrison said he and his crew tried to re-install the old fire hydrant in front of Jones’ garage but they could not do it, apparently because the old hydrant is rusty and seized up. He said in the process they “wrecked” it.
Supervisor Krahforst heard that some hydrants in Hoosick were being replaced using grant money, and he asked Hoosick to sell him two of the old ones. Hoosick agreed to sell them for $200 apiece, which he said is about the scrap value. The plan is to install one in front of Jones’ garage to replace the broken one and to keep the other as a spare.
The Board scheduled a Water District Committee meeting for Saturday, July 21, at 9:30 am. Water District patrons are welcome to attend, but no agenda for the meeting was offered.
Court Clerk Callie Crisp said some grant money was available through the State for local justice courts. She said she will be applying for funds on behalf of the Town Court but the Justices have not decided yet what to apply for. Crisp said the Town Court is scheduled to have a “security audit” of its operations done by someone from the NYS Unified Court System in a month or so, and she thought that would probably point up things that are needed to improve security, which could be the focus of the grant application. Board Member Bill Seel said he would rather wait until he knows what the grant is for before giving Town Board endorsement to the application, and it was tabled.
Fourth Of July Celebration Committee
Supervisor Krahforst said he is looking for volunteers to form a Fourth of July 2013 Party Committee. Krahforst envisions a gathering in the Town Park on the afternoon of the 4th after the Berlin Parade, with music, a picnic and that sort of thing. Anyone who is interested in joining such a committee is asked to call the Town Clerk at 658-3777, ext. 10, or the Supervisor at ext. 12.
The Town is revising the law that sets the date of the Board of Assessment Review hearing. They scheduled a public hearing on the new law for 6:45 pm on Monday, August 20.
Supervisor Krahforst said he has received a number of anonymous complaints about various Town matters. He said he will disregard complaints if people do not leave their name and phone number. He also reminded the public that complaints or concerns about alleged misconduct of Town officials should be directed to the Ethics Board – the Town Clerk has contact information.
Krahforst said most of the street lights that were out have been repaired. If anyone knows of a street light that is not working, please report the location and pole number to the Town Clerk.
The Board went into an executive session to discuss personnel matters. They did not make any comment or take any action when they came out.
The next regular meeting of the Petersburgh Town Board will be on August 20.[/private]