Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

Double poles have been an issue annoying town residents since 1997. Instead of being replaced, a failing column of wood holding up utility wires remains, shouldered by a new pole.

What progress is taking place to make these doubles single again?

Chairman Steve DeCourcey provided an update at the March 7 Select Board meeting: “Verizon says they are current on all their double-pole work, and the town manager has confirmed that Verizon agrees to meet. We will also coordinate with Eversource and Comcast to remove the town’s double poles.” 

Board member Len Diggins added, “We’ll do walk-through with Arlington’s tree warden to make sure no tree roots are damaged. I appreciate that that town takes our trees seriously.”

Stay tuned.

Private-way repair-fund limit increases

Arlington’s revolving-fund spending limit for private ways will increase in the new fiscal year from the current $200,000 to $275,000, as unanimously approved by the board. 

Under the private-way repair fund, citizens are allowed to repair private ways, explained Deputy Town Manager Sandy Pooler at the March 7 meeting.

Upon petition of two-thirds of a street’s residents, the Select Board can then approve repairs to private ways. The residents then choose a contractor from a list approved by the town’s engineering division. 

In a memo to the Select Board and Finance Committee, Pooler wrote that the residents “pay one-third of the estimated bill up front, we then send them a full bill once the work is complete, and the residents have the choice of paying that bill or having the cost added as a betterment assessment to their tax bills.

“Over the years, the revolving fund has worked well. Most repairs have been on smaller roads. This year, however, an expensive $221,000 repair on Mt. Gilboa Road was more than the annual limit. If we think we’ll exceed that amount, we can vote to raise the limit from $200,000 to $275,000. Most funds come from the residents themselves, and we’ll get extra money from the residents’ assessments,” said Pooler.

Board member John Hurd said, “After four or five years of people asking us to pay for private street repairs, this lets them know we’re increasing the amount of the revolving fund. We continue to get lots of repair requests, and this is a good process we’re going through.” 

Watch the whole March 7 board meeting on ACMi:

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This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Wednesday, March 17, 2022.