Will Ravenstein

Wellington Daily News

During Thursday’s city council work session the Westborough area street repair project was discusses again.

At the previous council meeting, May 2, a resolution was presented to the council to authorize the project to begin early phases of planning and construction. The project was presented as costing $1,085,000 to construct a road base, asphalt pavement and other related minor street improvements with the exception of curbing, designed to City standards according to the petition submitted by residents.

“I actually had the chance to talk to some Westborough residents and they are pretty determined that a nice smooth street would be sufficient and that curb and guttering are just not necessary,” Mayor Shelley Hansel said. “They realize that their streets are not the most traveled streets. They have also acknowledged that this money could be better spent in other places. All they really want are some nice new streets and move on.”

Hansel also mentioned other conversations with residents.

“I was even told by one resident that the city had them sign was like a contract and that they upheld their end of the bargain by getting the signatures now it’s time for the city to,” she said. “I have even been told by another resident that it doesn’t even have to happen this year, but put them on somewhere along the timeline so they know their streets will be repaired.”

It was mentioned that curbing would expand the life expectancy of the roads over time. In the short run it was estimated during the council meeting that five years for every 20 years would be removed due to water gathering, though it was later mentioned that there is not a lot of scientific research on the matter.

“Where I am sitting right now, I can’t rightfully sit here with a good conscience knowing full well the situation the tax payers are in because the project was half-assed from the start,” council member Kip Etter said. “That’s exactly what we are doing without putting the curbs and guttering in. I actually made a couple more phone calls after the meeting and they 100-percent reiterated that you are setting yourself up for failure and additional costs, resources, time, everything if you do not address the issue of the water issue.”

Council member Jan Korte stated that she favors storm drains, but the costs associated with that are considerably higher.

“I’m in favor of doing it the way the petition is written,” she said. “I feel that is a commitment that city made to those residents. That was the consensus of this group when we first started discussing it. Yes, we know there will have to be more maintenance on those roads.”

Jeremy Jones, Director Public Works, was also on hand to answer questions.

“Drainage would prevent standing water,” he said. “The storm sewer really would help during the heavy rain events. It would move a higher volume of water out of there. But, the curb and guttering would get the roads dry.”

After nearly 30-minutes of open dialogue among the members and city employees the council decided to bring the petition back to Tuesday’s city council meeting for a final decision.