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Town debates taking over road

Monday, June 16, 2014 - Updated: 8:30 AM

By CAROLINE MURRAY

caroline.murray@recordernews.com

BROADALBIN -- The town board is in the process of taking over a private road off of Route 138.

At a board meeting Tuesday, Supervisor Thomas Christopher discussed sending a letter of intent to residents of Orchard Drive with information about the possible takeover.

However, town attorney Kara Lais suggested holding off on the letter until clarifications are made with the owner of the road.

"My concern is if we did a letter of intent now, but there was no date set when it would be taken over, so it is up in the air," Lais said.

Christopher said the owner of the road, Tim Briggs, used to own property on Orchard Drive in addition to the actual road.

However, Christopher said in recent years he sold off pieces of the property to other residents.

He said the town's undertaking would be to Briggs' advantage because the town's highway department would be responsible for maintaining the road.

"It has been done in the past in other areas. We just want to make sure that everything is correct if we do take that road over," Chistopher said.

He said the town would not take over the road unless it met all the specifications from the state Department of Transportation and the town's planning board.

"Depending upon what the base is made of and what the shoulders are made of and what the pavement is ... all those types of specifications have to be made before doing that," he said.

Councilman James Wheeler asked what the highway department's opinion is because it would be their responsibility to plow the road.

Christopher said they have not discussed it yet, because the project is still in its infancy and the road still needs to be evaluated.

Councilman Larry Ruzycky asked if the town even wanted to own the road depending if it meets the basic requirements.

"Do we want to accept it as a town highway?" he said. "That is a decision we have to come up with."

Christopher said the town does not want to spend any money bringing the road up to code.

He said the owners would have to pave the road properly before the town considers taking it over.

However, he said the town is looking into it because the owners and the people who live on it pay town taxes.

"Tim Briggs ... those people are taxpayers now. They currently pay taxes on their property like everyone else. If the road meets the specification there is a possibility we would plow the road," Christopher said.

     

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