Wooden Posts Recommended for Area at the Town Common

By Alex Malm

Following the Heritage Commission tabling, a recommendation to the Town Council was made after hearing some concerns from the community over a proposal to install a wooden post and rail fence at the Town Common. The Commission once again heard from Director of Public Works, Dave Wholley, during the Nov. 16 meeting.
“The area that we are looking at is only in the parking lot area; we’re not going around the common or anything like that,” Wholley said during the previous meeting.
He explained that they were looking to make the move to address safety and maintenance issues, and the logs, which were there temporarily, were a good measure following construction. The bark is falling, “the logs are splitting,” and kids are falling off of them. He added that cars are bumping into them because they are low to the ground.
One of the suggestions raised during the previous meeting was to look at having stones put there like at the Morrison House.
Wholley said one of the concerns with that option is that they aren’t uniformed in size, and they could be a tripping hazard.
He added that they are “very unforgiving to your vehicle,” saying if you pull up too close to it because you can’t see it as it’s too low to the ground, “you damage your front bumper.”
Wholley said they are “definitely not in the manual for uniform traffic control devices.”
Another potential option raised during the previous meeting was putting in a wall. He added that a local company told them that a 70 foot wall would be “north of $30,000 to do it right.” Wholley said it also would make a permanent barrier for water, which could cause drainage issues, and if there is damage to it, there could be costs for fixing it.
It was also noted by Wholley that they have plenty of logs and that they could replace them.
Wholley said previously that the cost would likely be around $2,400 which would be paid for through savings in the maintenance budget for the Common due to less irrigation this year.
However, he told the Commission that a local business owner in town was willing to pay for the wooden rail fence.
“He thinks it would work out well there,” Wholley said.
Ex-Officio, Jim Butler, said he agreed with Wholley that the safest and most cost effective way to address it would be with wood rails.
The Commission approved recommending the wooden post and rail fence.

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