Trustees discuss safety preparation at 66 Atkinson St.

safety
The Bellows Falls Trustees make preparations for barriers around 66 Atkinson St. Photo provided.

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Bellows Falls Village Trustees discussed the engineer’s report and granted owner Chris Glennon three weeks to glean estimates for roof repairs and submit a written plan for 66 Atkinson St. Glennon received the report, prepared by structural engineer David Hindinger, just 30 minutes prior to the Trustee meeting Tuesday, Oct. 23.

The unsafe building ordinance requires that conditions are met in a specific time frame, explained Village President Deborah Wright. She asked Glennon if he had reviewed the report.

He acknowledged there was not really enough time but added, “I knew all of these conditions before I bought it.”

Glennon invited the Trustees to tour the building but asked for time to garner estimates and look into various roofing materials. Decisions will need to be made on which direction to take on the roof. Glennon discussed whether or not to replace the slate and choose standing seam or cedar shake, which would be similar to the original roof. He also mentioned he had a proposal for solar.

Trustee James McAuliffe said this was a security issue, and that the town was paying several thousands of dollars for safety measures that was Glennon’s responsibility and asked him, “Are you prepared to pay for the safety measures?”

Glennon answered he was willing to construct his own barriers, which would be much less costly than estimated by the Town.

Deborah Wright stated that a private citizen can not close or block a municipal road and so the Town of Rockingham must be the one to secure the street, and the estimated costs are the only choice for the safety of the public.

McAuliffe inquired if Glennon was prepared to take responsibility for the jersey barrier work, and the answer was no. Trustee Jonathan Wright said at this point in time, the Village needs to pay. “Unfortunately, public safety is a mandate.”

Although Glennon was granted the three weeks, the Village would like the barricades to happen sooner. Municipal Manager Wendy Harrison said the barriers and fencing had not been purchased yet.

Deborah Wright added that fencing was not mentioned in her plea to the Selectboard for agreement and “gives presumption of repair.”

The board understood the inevitable snow piles would be inviting to kids and fencing was suggested, said Harrison.

The Bellows Falls Village Trustees will meet again Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the Lower Theater at the Bellows Falls Opera House at 6 p.m.

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