Friday, April 11, 2003
Old Morse Road Trail needs repairs
At its March 27 meeting, the Conservation Commission heard from a number of parties interested in repairing the sunken culvert on the Old Morse Road Trail. The Historical Commission has an interest and wants the fix to be historically appropriate. The owner of the property, which has a conservation restriction on it, also wants an historically appropriate repair. The Trails Committee wants a safe crossing for hikers and horses. The Conservation Commission wants to assume the responsibility which falls to it under the conservation restriction on the property. However, no one has the money for the repairs, which the engineering firm of Stamski-McNary estimated at $4,000.
The Old Morse Road Trail is over 200 years old, and the late Jim Davis had an interest in the project as a piece of historical stewardship. There is also the larger issue of the town's liability. The culvert presents a safety hazard which must be addressed with something more substantial than the warning signs that have been put up as a temporary measure. In addition to the collapsed culvert, the trail has been compacted and is now below the level of the existing wetland. A number of holes must be filled and grading is needed. The question is how to pay for these repairs. The ConsCom has considered DPW help and has considered the possibility of Community Preservation Act funds for the repair of an historical structure. ConsCom Administrator Sylvia Willard said, "We need to see how to go forward."
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