|By Rick Sobey|
WILBRAHAM The Wilbraham Board of Selectmen met on March 3 to vote on the future of Hollow Road, which has been discussed since October. The selectmen agreed on how to deal with the road which connects Wilbraham and Hampden.
At the meeting, Wilbraham Selectmen David W. Barry and Patrick J. Brady both voted to discontinue maintenance of the road up until the Hampden town line. Wilbraham Selectmen Chair James E. Thompson was unable to attend the meeting due to a delayed plane flight.
In addition, the selectmen voted for a locked gate to be constructed at the closed part of Hollow Road. They would like keys to be given to members of the Wilbraham and Hampden public safety teams (such as emergency medical technicians), as well as residents who live next to the closed part of Hollow Road. Then, should an emergency occur, there would be access to the road.
The debate on how to deal with Hollow Road began in 2004, with problems such as illegal dumping, maintenance issues and unlicensed partying happening on on the road. Due to these conditions, selectmen decided to close the road to traffic.
However, the Wilbraham Board of Selectmen did not tell the Hampden Board of Selectmen that they were going to shut down Hollow Road, according to Hampden Selectmen Chairman John D. Flynn. Flynn said the fact that they did not inform Hampden before closing the street was wrong. He believes that Wilbraham had a legal obligation to advise Hampden.
The Hampden selectmen would also like for the emergency personnel and abutting residents of the closed part of Hollow Road to have keys for the locked gate.
Even though Thompson was not in attendance, he talked to the Wilbraham selectmen on the phone and agreed with them. He said that if he was at the meeting, he would vote to discontinue maintenance of Hollow Road and vote for a gate for emergency access.