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Web exclusive, April 28, 2011
Walker Pond access planning continues

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by Jonathan Thomas

With construction season nearly at hand, Sedgwick and Brooksville selectmen met on April 13 to plan the next steps toward providing public road access to Walker Pond.

At the close of the hour-long meeting, the six selectmen agreed to accept former Sedgwick selectman Nelson Grindal’s offer to meet—as a volunteer—with the towns’ engineer Andrew McCullough. He also volunteers to prepare a work schedule with price estimates for review at the joint board’s next meeting.

Following that review, the early phases of the project, including silt fences, clearing, and building of a 10-foot wide “construction road” would be put out to bid. Grindal said the silt fences should be installed before any cutting “because we’re going to be scrutinized.”

Grindal told the board members that initially building the road narrower than the 22-foot-wide road approved in the application would not violate the state permit, and he cited a Department of Environmental Protection official. Grindal said the permit is valid for two years, and can be extended to four years.

Brooksville resident John Kimball asked about proceeding with that project before complete information about the cost and funding for the full project was available.

Kimball said later he is concerned that if a “construction road” down to the pond is built without town meeting votes to fund the entire project, all of the required erosion controls might never get built, leading to pollution of the pond.

Earlier in the meeting, board members had agreed with Sedgwick selectman Neil Davis’ suggestion that road commissioners from the two towns visit the site with McCullough prior to McCullough’s completion of construction plans.

Davis also said there’s a need to determine the location of the utility line right-of-way from Route 15, across the Condon trust property to the point where it would meet the new road. He said he has been talking with the surveyors, the attorneys, and with trustee Basil Ladd, who was present at the meeting.

The other selectmen present and participating in the discussions were Colby Pert and Victor Smith of Sedgwick, and John Gray, Richard Bakeman, and Darrell Fowler of Brooksville.

The next meeting of the joint board is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11, at 9 a.m. in the Brooksville Town House.