By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Town Council voted to approve a pavement surface treatment project on March 28, selecting a chip seal for repairing residential roads.
After testing three different types of chip seal at various locations around town, Town Manager Garry Brumback recommended a 20 percent rubberized chip seal to the council.
The 20 percent rubberized chip seal, which was tested on Pattonwood Drive, left a bit of gravel around the edges, but no cracks were visible on the main stretch of road. Brumback said this treatment held up the best through all four seasons.
“We believe this is an essential component of our roads maintenance program,” he said.
The town manager said he hopes the less expensive repair route will allow the town to give attention to roads that normally wouldn’t be fixed.
“This is an opportunity for us to get into the low traffic, low speed neighborhoods,” said Brumback.
The 20-percent rubberized chip seal holds a price tag of just $4.70 per-square-yard. Councilor Chris Palmieri (D) spoke at the council meeting to say that in the past the town had done mill and overlay, which is priced about $17 per-square-yard.
Palmieri said he thought the proposed option made the road look unfinished. He asked about the Nova Chip option, which the town did not test and said he would recommend the Cape Seal option, tested on Meander Lane and Little Fawn Road, as “a great compromise.”
Councilor John Barry (D) also voiced concerns, saying that “The chip seal seemed very inconvenient, very messy to the residents.”
Councilor Jim Champagne (R) said the Cape Seal the town tested on Hilltop Road had started to fracture and wasn’t fit for New England weather. “The long term benefits are going to outweigh any inconvenience,” said Champagne, who made a motion to approve the 20 percent rubberized chip seal.
Champagne said this option would include notice to residents and additional road sweeping.
The motion passed 5 to 2, with Palmieri and Barry opposed.
Town attorney Mark Sciota said that company bids from the last cycle had remained the same so the town could move forward with the repairs.