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Francestown

Cressy Hill status remains muddy

NHDOT officials have conflicting documents regarding its classification

FRANCESTOWN — In a recent email to the Francestown Select Board, the N.H. Department of Transportation asked the board for the correct classification of Cressy Hill Road, whether it’s Class V or Class VI. The topic came up at the board’s meeting Monday, but selectmen chose not to discuss the matter further.

While reviewing town and city roads for Block Grant Aid purposes, an engineering technician with the Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance of the DOT, contacted the Select Board. “I have found that we may not have the classification of Cressy Hill Road recorded correctly,” W.A. Cherrette, a DOT engineering technician, wrote in an email sent April 17.

Attached with the email is a screenshot picture of a map of Cressy Hill Road that the state department has and it shows Cressy Hill as a Class VI. However, Cherrette wrote in the letter to the town , “I have additional documentation, stating that it was declassified to Class VI back in 1989, that was never processed.”

According to the DOT’s definition of road classifications, class V, Rural Highways, “consist of all other traveled highways which the city or town has the duty to maintain regularly.” Class VI, Unmaintained Highways, “consist of all other existing public ways, including highways discontinued as open highways, and made subject to gates and bars, and highways not maintained and repaired in suitable condition for travel thereon for five successive years or more.”

“The board has no plan at this point to answer any letter regarding Cressy,” Board member Abigail Arnold said in an interview Wednesday. “The board has simply done nothing.”

Board member Scott Carbee said in an interview Wednesday that he was there in 1997 when Board Chair Betsy Hardwick signed the maintenance waiver agreement that allowed Hardwick to build a home on Cressy Hill Road, as long as she maintained the road and the bridge located there.

“There’s only one statement to make, it’s Class VI,” Board member Scott Carbee said. “I’m standing my ground.”

With regard to the board discussing how to respond to the email from the DOT, Carbee said, “It’s up to the chair, the chairman usually sets the agenda.” In all his years on the board, Carbee said, “I’ve never been asked, ‘Do you want anything on the agenda?’ Not yet.”

He’s concerned, however, about the lack of a response. “We’re jeopardizing the town on its state aid package,” Carbee said, referring to the Block Grant Aid the state gives out annually.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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