By CAROLINE MURRAY
Recorder News Staff
NORTHAMPTON -- The 100 year-old fence lining the perimeter of the Northville Cemetery on South Main Street will soon be capped for safety reasons.
At a town meeting Wednesday, highway superintendent Christopher "Kip" Richardson said the town had two options for addressing the sharp gate: to either shave down the pointy edges of the posts or cap them with wooden slips.
What is the reason for all the fuss?
Supervisor James Groff said over the years, several deer have attempted to jump the gate and have failed to clear the sharp posts.
Northville highway superintendent Darryl Roosa recalled three incidents in which he had to remove dead deer from the gate.
This gruesome task is made worse, Roosa said, because residents can hear the animals suffer, and see them impaled on the spikes.
"It's not much fun," he said.
Roosa said the gate is more than five feet tall, and the spikes are roughly an inch and a half long.
The board fears children will attempt to jump the fence as well, and consequently get hurt in the process.
The gate is as old as the village; Groff said he suspects it was built in the 1890s.
Richardson said there are 250 posts, and the most efficient option is to cap the spikes with wooden slips and paint them black to match the fence.
The entire project would put the town back roughly $200, the superintendent said.
Councilman William Gritsavage motioned to go ahead with Richardson's proposal to cap the edges, and all councilmen agreed.
At the end of the meeting and during the public comment, Northampton resident Raymond Hatch Jr. asked if the project was worth spending taxpayer dollars for.
"No one has been hurt for over 200 years. I don't think it is a wise expenditure of our tax dollars," Hatch said.
Groff said he would like to resolve the problem before someone gets hurt. He said the spikes could be a liability to the town, and it is worth the investment.
"I don't want to take a chance," he said.