Petition gets results for Old Bennington Road residents

GREENFIELD — Residents of the section of Old Bennington Road between Forest Road and the Peterborough town line weren’t happy to learn that Road Agent Tim Murray was considering grinding away the pavement of the road and leaving it as gravel. So they got 17 signatures on a petition in opposition to the plan, which they gave to Select Board members Rob Wimpory, Karen Day and Debra Davidson at the board’s April 18 meeting.

The petition bore the names of every current resident on the road, according to George Rainier and John Eber, who gave it to the board. “One fellow who moved out didn’t sign,” Eber said.

The petition proved convincing to Wimpory, who chairs the Select Board.

“We agree. No problem. We will not touch the road,” he told the group.

Wimpory said the southern section of Old Bennington Road has been identified as one of the top two paved roads in town that are in need of repair. He said the plan had been to go to gravel for a year, as a cost-savings measure.

“It will cost $158,000 to do all of the road, soup to nuts,” Davidson said. Instead, Murray and the board had considered just doing a portion of the work.

Wimpory said the board would be glad to postpone doing any significant work on the road for the time being.

“I wish more people would come in and say ‘Please don’t touch our roads,’” he told the Old Bennington Road residents.

Several of the petitioners emphasized that they did want to see some maintenance work on the road right away, noting that it has many potholes. Wimpory said that Murray plans to fill in the potholes soon.

Liz Halper complained about new culverts on the road, which she said had created bumps, and asked why a row of large rocks had been placed along the edge of the road where it intersects with Cavender Road.

Wimpory said he would ask Murray about the culverts and the rocks.

Marjorie Vanasse said the residents on Old Bennington Road don’t get their fair share of town services. She said the police department does a good job monitoring the road for drivers who are speeding, but maintenance on the road has been lacking.

“Downtown gets everything,” Vanasse said. “They forget all about us on the west side.”

Wimpory said the board is working with Murray to develop a construction plan for the 13 1/2 miles of paved roads in town. A proposal for construction, probably as a three-year plan, should be ready to present to voters at Town Meeting next year, he said.

“I would hope if the town votes the money, we can then do your road,” Wimpory told the petitioners.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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