Vernon voters approve roads bond
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Jan. 30, 2014
Vernon voters approved $27 million in bonding for road repairs. The referendum held on Jan. 28 came after public hearings last year, during which the need for the repair plan was explained as “overdue.”
Of the town's more than 15,000 eligible voters, 763 turned out at the voting places, with 437 voting in favor.
The repairs will begin this year and will take place over the next six years. Repayment of the bonds will take much longer, and will total nearly $40 million over 20 years – a fact that was lamented at the public hearings, but thought of as a “necessary evil.” The mill rate impact is expected to be about 1.09 per $1,000 on average, per each year over that span.
Both Democrats and Republicans in Vernon had urged voters to support the plan.
“This investment in our roads will improve safety and save wear and tear for every vehicle that travels them. The roads must be maintained, and if we defer this work, it will only end up costing us more in the long run,” said Republican Town Chairman Harold Cummings and Democratic Town Chairman William Dauphin, in a statement released jointly before the referendum.
Public Works Director Robert Kleinhans said the town has spent only about $100,000 per year on road surfaces in recent years, but that was well below the amount needed for long-term maintenance.
The plan will tend to 219 of the town's 405 roads, or 54 percent. Approximately 66.92 miles, or 59.4 percent of the town's 112.58 miles of roadways are included in the plan.
The first round of work is expected to begin mid-spring. An outline of the project and a listing of roads to be resurfaced can be found at www.vernon-ct.gov.