JAMAICA -- The replacement of the water system at Town Hall has been temporarily postponed.
On Jan. 27, Selectboard member Judy Flower, who has been leading efforts to replace the unpotable water system in the Town Hall, was unable to give the board two bids for the engineering. She had received one but was still waiting on another.
"There's nothing we can do anyway. We have a little time," said Selectboard Chairwoman Lexa Clark. "We want to do it the right way."
Flower had called the Vermont Community Foundation, which had given the town a $3,721 discretionary grant for the project. She wanted to let the organization's Program and Grants Associate Stephanie Tuxill know that there were some challenges that the town was dealing with and inquire about other potential grants.
The engineering believed to be required for the project has increased estimated costs. A letter from the state's Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division sent to Flower had conveyed that.
While speaking with the division's Assistant Regional Engineer Chris Tomberg about the house next door to the Town Hall, where a leeching field has recently been addressed, Selectboard member Andy Coyne had brought up the water system.
Flower told Coyne that Tomberg's major concern had been "the slope of where the septic is going after it leaves the septic tank."
"Was the slope going down and really contaminating the area where we thought? He said we absolutely needed to have a plan but then we know that will jack the price up for sure," she said.
There are two permits the town would need to apply for. One is for drilling while the other has to do with testing for water quality.
"The problem is if we go ahead and drill, we don't even know if the water is drinkable," said Flower.
-- In other business
At the same meeting, Selectboard member Paul Fraser requested that the board appoint him as one of the town's representatives for a new committee focused on Route 30 traffic calming, which is being formed by the Windham Regional Commission.
Fraser said he would bring up resident Tom Morris' concerns about Pike Falls Road. At a previous meeting, Morris had brought up several incidents where people have gone off the road after their GPS had brought them to the road, which he considers a backwoods and rural road.
Morris had requested that the board look into possible solutions. Fraser said it didn't appear that the town could close it to public traffic.
"We can't close it," added Clark.
Fraser will look at other options and has already spoke about the road to WRC Senior Planner Matt Mann, who specializes in transportation.
"It's one of the major routes to Stratton. That's what people use. Whether or not the GPS goes out somewhere in the valley, it's not our municipal concern. If the GPS goes out and they stop, it's not our concern either," said Fraser. "We can't really teach people how to drive."
Town Clerk Pat Meulemans and Fraser were appointed to serve on the traffic calming committee.
Prior to the meeting, Road Crew Supervisor Keith Hazzard asked Clark that the board consider purchasing a small bulk sand spreader for the back of one of the crew's trucks. He had already received one estimate and intended to call two other companies.
"He feels it would be good for the fourth person that's helping us out," Clark said. "They can do the small or shorter roads, especially the Sage Hill bridge. It's hard for big trucks to go through there."
When the other estimates come in, the Selectboard will discuss the potential purchase.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.