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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 15, 2010

Rensselaerville hits the road

By Zach Simeone

RENSSELAERVILLE — The town board will discuss the proposed $365,000 highway contract for 2010, along with the rest of this month’s highway-department report, at a special meeting on April 22.

Also at the meeting, the board will discuss ways of reaching its goal of building a new, improved, and fireproof records room at Town Hall.

The highway contract, Highway Superintendent Gary Zeh said this week, will pull $280,000 from the highway fund, and budgets $85,000 from Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) funding.

In his report, Zeh writes to the board, “The intent is to address the worst unpaved roads that are also school bus routes.”

This year’s capital improvements, Zeh said, will include work on: Pucker Street, Fleming Road, Camp Winsoki Road, Pond Hill Road, and Pearson Road.

“A lot of my time is going to be spent rebuilding ditches along the roads,” Zeh said this week. “We had a tremendous amount of washouts in the wintertime.” He also plans on upgrading culverts, he said.

In addition to the highway contract, the board and Zeh will discuss several other issues, including:

— Buying new trucks and equipment, as the town has not done so in six years, and has already spent more than $29,000 on repairs this year, Zeh said.

This would include replacing the town’s 1991 International 4-by-2 truck, possibly with a 2010 International 4-by-4 truck, and replacing the town’s 1999 Ford F-350 4-by-4 truck with a heavier truck, possibly a Ford F-550. Both of these town trucks were broken down for half of the winter, Zeh said;

— Problems with bids for stone and asphalt products; road and dust oils; pipe; gabion baskets; geo-textile fabric; gas; diesel; and #2 fuel oil;

— Hiring a full-time employee and a part-time employee;

— Abandoning maintenance easements on roads that have not been used or maintained in recent years;

— Relocating underground telephone cables, buried in the roadbeds, shoulders, and ditches, that prevent the proper maintenance of some roads;

— Sending interested highway workers to Operating Engineers School for equipment training;

— Between May 3 and October 29, working four, 10-hour days a week; and

— Having a page on the town website and in the town newsletter dedicated to the department’s current work, including what roads are being repaired.

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