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Major Projects Committee looks at roads, sidewalks

By Debbie Gardner

PRIME Editor

WILBRAHAM A slate of Public Works projects were the topics addressed by the Wilbraham Major Projects Committee during its most recent meeting, which took place on Jan. 10 in the Town Hall.

"We were looking at sidewalk and road resurfacing [project proposals]," Town Administrator William Fogarty told Reminder Publications in a post-meeting interview. "The municipal well was announced as a subject, but it is not something the Public Works Department is pursuing at this time."

According to Major Projects Chair Robert Quintin, the presentation by Director of Public Works Ed Miga lasted about an hour and a half.

"We had a lot of questions from people about sidewalks and the condition of the roads," Quintin told Reminder Publications, also during a follow-up interview.

Among the topics discussed in depth was the condition of the town's network of roadside drainage pipes.

"They're 50 years old-plus, they're rippled ... a lot are failing, which are causing drainage issues," Quintin said. "They're everywhere, and they've never been replaced. That's a problem."

Ranking of projects discussed

Fogarty said that the second half of the meeting focused on a presentation by Quintin about the ranking of the nine major projects the committee has been discussing since it began meeting in July of 2005.

"He's developed a specific methodology for priority to the proposed projects," Fogarty said.

Quintin explained, "First, we have to come up with a list, and second, take that list and come up with some kind of responsible fiscal plan to get these things done over the long term."

He explained the risk/decision analysis methodology he has proposed the Major Projects Committee employ in ranking the work that needs to be done.

"We're going to try to prioritize [the projects] the best we can for the Selectmen," he said.

Quintin said further discussion of how to rank projects will take place at the next meeting.

Library focus of Jan. 17 meeting

The next meeting of the Major Projects Committee will take place Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Wilbraham Public Library.

"It's a joint meeting between the Major Projects Committee, the Library Trustees and the Capital Planning Committee," Quintin said. The meeting, which is open to the public, will include a tour of the current library facility and a presentation by the Trustees of proposed renovations to address space and service issues.

"[The Major Projects Committee] haven't really done anything with the library because we thought it was going to be replaced," Quintin said. "People spoke [at the Nov. 29 Special Town Meeting and Dec. 10 override vote] and now we are confronted with capital improvements that need to be made."