Bristol to get break on bridge replacement

BRISTOL — Rep. Dave Sharpe, Bristol-D, told the Bristol selectboard on Monday that the town might end up saving more than $100,000 on the South Street Bridge replacement project, slated for 2013.
He explained a section in the Transportation Bill passed by the Vermont House last week, which would require towns to pay only 5 percent of the total cost of a bridge replacement project — instead of the usual 10 percent — with the state picking up the balance.
The hitch is a town would get this reduced cost structure only if it does not install a temporary bridge.
Sharpe said that during Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Department of Transportation officials realized just how much money and time could be saved when replacing a bridge if a temporary bridge wasn’t built. This portion of the T Bill is meant to encourage towns to forgo temporary bridges, which speeds up time and saves money for bridge projects, said Sharpe.
“We think we have pretty broad support for this and we don’t expect a problem (getting it passed by the Senate), but  it’s not done until it’s done,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
If state legislators approve this bridge program, the town of Bristol wouldn’t need to float the entire $300,000 bond voters approved on Town Meeting Day. The town would likely need only half of that amount, said Town Administrator Bill Bryant, since the South Street Bridge wouldn’t require a temporary bridge.
 In other news from the Bristol meeting, the selectboard: 
•  Approved two bids for a new town dump truck: one for $68,405 to Clark’s Truck Center of Underhill for the cab and chassis and another to Viking Cives of Williston and Harrisville, N.Y., for $56,404 for the dump body and plow equipment. At town meeting, voters approved $125,000 for a new truck and associated equipment.
•  Met with Mary Simmons about the Bristol Farmers’ Market. It will begin on the first weekend in June and run every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until the first weekend in October.
•  Heard complaints about townspeople burning trash outside of the police district. The selectboard explained that such complaints should go to the fire warden, the state police and the Agency of Natural Resources. From there, the town might possibly get involved, said Bryant.
•  Authorized the police department to apply for assistance from the governor’s highway safety program for up to $6,000.
•  Created a subcommittee comprised of Landfill Manager Kris Perlee, Road Foreman Pete Bouvier, selectboard chairman John “Peeker” Heffernan and Bryant to find a replacement for the landfill’s Bomag trash compactor. This machine is a heavy, steel-wheeled vehicle with big claws that are used to compact trash and maintain the surface of the landfill. The town’s 1969 Bomag, which is made by a German company, broke down and the selectboard authorized the subcommittee to search for a used bulldozer or similar piece of machinery for up to $25,000 to fulfill the same function.
•  OK’d the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 2012 Green Mountain Gateway Bike Ride, which will direct several hundred bicyclists through Bristol on Aug. 12. The riders will stop on the town green for refreshments and head back north. Two different routes will pass through Bristol: a 75-mile ride and a 100-mile ride.
•  Approved Andy Jackson’s application for a curb cut by the corner of Mountain Terrace and High Street.
•  Decided after executive session to pay for half of the town’s $1,400 in legal expenses for a revolving loan for Dani Bluteau and Erin Heffernan’s flower shop, Scentsations. Unexpectedly large legal expenses arose from the loan arrangement, so the town agreed to help pay part of its own legal expenses for the $8,900 loan. Selectman Peeker Heffernan recused himself from this decision, as Erin Heffernan is his sister-in-law.
On Monday, the selectboard also discussed town officer appointments for:
•  The planning commission, which has five people vying for four seats: incumbents Ken Weston, Bill Sayre and John Elder and applicants John Moyers and Katie Raycroft Meyer.
•  The conservation commission, which is now full.
•  The design review commission, which processes zoning permits for the downtown district. Two spots are open, as two incumbents have not indicated whether they will return.
•  The Zoning Board of Adjustments, which has four people vying for three seats. Incumbents Bob Stetson, Paul Jackman and Brenda Tilberg are applying, as is new applicant Bob Blaise.
•  The revolving loan fund committee, which has two incumbents and two new applicants vying for two spots. The incumbents are Dan Werme and Bob Bernstein, and the new applicants are Tom Wells and Bob Blaise.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected].

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