Traffic concerns cause selectmen to consider solutions

SALISBURY — First Selectman Curtis Rand raised the issue of speedy drivers in town at a meeting of the Board of Selectman July 1.

The Board had received a petition about traffic that cited speeding, asked for more police enforcement, more speed limit signs, and a ban on “Jake brakes,” or compression release engine brakes used on 18-wheeler trucks. When deployed the Jake brakes make a loud sound.

Rand said it’s been eight years since the state Department of Transportation did a traffic audit in Salisbury and suggested it is time for a new one.

Selectman Chris Williams said once the audit is completed, the resulting study would give the town some leverage in asking the state DOT to take action. “Hold their feet to the fire,” he said.

The selectmen approved a request from the Affordable Housing Commission for $13,800 from the Affordable Housing Fund. The money will be used to hire an energy efficiency consultant for the Dresser Woods affordable housing development.

“While we’re on housing,” Rand began.

He said that limiting possible affordable housing sites to places that are or can be served by town water and sewer is “pretty onerous.”

“Yet there are locals who rent affordably and get no recognition” he said, adding “We have 38,000 acres and we scramble over a tiny amount of it because we need water and sewer or town-owned. “

He asked why, if a piece of land became available for affordable housing, a well and septic system couldn’t be installed.

“I agree completely” said Selectman Kitty Kiefer.

“We have to think outside the box,” said Williams.

The Board announced the brush dump on Hammertown Road is closed temporarily.

Rand said the dump is for leaves only, and people were putting invasive plants in the pile.

The selectmen thanked Jean McMillen, who is retiring as town historian but will continue to keep tabs on the town’s cemeteries.

“You’ve been a force for good in keeping the historical stones up to date” Rand said.

McMillen reported that all the cemeteries are in “good or excellent” cognition at the moment.

What needs work in the short term is the granite pillars and iron rods in the graveyard behind Town Hall. McMillen said these items are the only fencing of historical significance among the cemeteries.

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