Town Board members voted unanimously Monday night to borrow up to $400,000 for road repairs and several other items.
The total actual outlay will depend on the bids received but is estimated at $379,410. Town Supervisor Peter Parsons explained that it was necessary to pass the resolution at this stage in order to be able to begin the work on schedule. Final approval will depend on further votes in the weeks to come.
Items covered in the new bond anticipation note (BAN) are $174,000 for road repairs as outlined by the Cornell Local Roads Program; $60,000 for paving of Boway Road from Spring Street to the top of the hill, about 1,000 feet; $60,000 to install a sleeve in the culvert on Cornwall Court; $75,000 for resurfacing the badly cracked Town Park basketball courts; and $10,000 for improving the output of the water system at Onatru Farm.
The $174,000 for road repairs represents the balance needed after $100,000 from the 2014 highway paving budget, $167,225 in 2014 CHIPs (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) funding, and a $50,000 grant for Laurel Road are put into the budget “pot.”
Roads due to be repaired are Kitchawan, Conant Valley, Avery, Todd, Cross Pond, and Butternut Lane. The Laurel Road work is being financed by a special grant with funds to be used on that road only.
“We hope to get a very favorable rate on the new BAN,” Mr. Parsons told The Ledger. “We borrowed earlier this year at 0.75%, and while there is no guarantee we can get exactly the same rate, things look very good. We are trying to get our town housekeeping in order while interest rates are extraordinarily low.”
Paving a section of South Salem’s Boway Road is a move that is likely to please some residents and displease others. A recent crowded public hearing showed a split on the matter, with opinion coming down mostly in favor of paving the road. Boway, one of the town’s dirt roads, washes out badly during heavy rains, depositing mud and gravel into nearby Truesdale Lake through underground piping and creating dangerous driving conditions on the road.
Officials said adding a sleeve culvert on Cornwall Court is long overdue to maintain the integrity of the road and to avoid the possibility of an inconvenient and expensive collapse. The basketball courts at the Town Park are badly in need of repair and officials agreed that total repaving is in order. On Monday night Town Board member Peter DeLucia suggested getting bids on installing a blacktop or cement surface that would be better able to withstand the hard use the courts receive.
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Dana Mayclim said work should be done right after summer camp closes and that she would proceed with getting bids for a variety of surfaces, including cement and asphalt.
The $10,000 earmarked for upgrading the water system at Onatru, which now houses the Parks and Recreation Department, is long overdue, officials said. “Water pressure is badly lacking and we need to do something to accommodate the increased usage before summer programs begin,” Ms. Mayclim said.
Mr. Parsons said he believes these expenditures are necessary to maintain the town’s infrastructure and avoid much greater costs in the future. He told The Ledger on Tuesday that “as my mother told me, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ In addition, low interest rates now make the necessary affordable.”