Cavendish culvert replacement project delayed

CAVENDISH, Vt. – On Aug. 10, Cavendish Town Manager Brendan McNamara updated the Selectboard that the culvert replacement project on Route 131, initially scheduled for next week, was delayed due to a delay in delivery of the pre-cast culvert. McNamara is hoping to have an exact timeframe by the end of this week.

The Selectboard has given approval to Margo Caulfield from the Cavendish Historical Society to proceed with a “Little Free Library” to be set up on the steps of the CHS museum building. The project will consist of a weather-tight cabinet to be built by Dave Gallagher that will house free books, supplies, puzzles, history project kits, and more. All the contents will be donated by librarian Kata Welch from the Fletcher Community Library in Proctorsville, Black River Good Neighbors, and local residents.

According to Caulfield, with so many local families turning to homeschooling, there needs to be a way to have supplies available for pickup. The project will start with the cabinet in Cavendish and may be duplicated for a site in Proctorsville if needed.

When asked about COVID-safety issues by board member Sandra Russo, Caulfield said based on research, the risk factor is through aerosolization, not contact. “I don’t think this is a high-risk activity,” she said.

The board also discussed the need to address concerns about the speed on Depot Street since it was reopened at the end of July after the bridge repairs caused the road closure for nearly five years.

According to McNamara, the Regional Planning Commission initiated a speed study as soon as the bridge opened, a first step in determining whether the speed limit might need to be lowered. The board had already decided to post the road with “No Thru Trucks” sign in hopes of eliminating heavier traffic, but those signs have not been delivered yet.

According to McNamara, the local sheriff has been on Depot Street a good deal of time since it opened, but to his knowledge the sheriff had not issued one speeding ticket yet. Anecdotally, McNamara said he had seen many cars traveling faster than the sheriff’s reported high of 31 mph.

The results of the speed study should be finalized by mid-August. The board will discuss the study results and next steps at the September Selectboard meeting. The possibility of putting a flashing speed limit sign on the road will also be discussed but, with a cost of approximately $2,500, would come down to budget.

Lightning strikes from a weekend storm damaged the Cavendish Water Plant. Overriding the damaged control panel has temporarily repaired the damage done. The town will submit their claim to the insurance company to see what is covered. There is not any anticipated impact to town water users.

The next Cavendish Selectboard meeting is Monday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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