By Thomas D’Agostino
Major issue at the Webster selectmen meeting
Webster Resident Jillian Peters, armed with photos and facts, came before the Board of Selectmen on Monday to address the safety concerns associated with Lake Parkway. Peters cited the lack of sidewalks, proper lighting, crosswalks and the absence of a school speed limit sign as a clear danger to pedestrians, including children walking to school on that particular road.
Peters would like to see 20-miles-per-hour signs put in place inside the school zone, stating that many people come off of the highway and still traverse the road at a high rate of speed. “Fifty doesn’t feel like anything when you were doing eighty.” Peters stated.
Every other school zone in Webster is 20 miles per hour except the Bartlett School, where 30 miles per hour is posted. There is also a sign that warns drivers to slow down, but is largely ignored. Peters also said that police do take radar on the street but allow motorists to go forty miles an hour without stopping them. When the snow falls, the road becomes narrow due to lack of proper sidewalks and force pedestrians to walk closer to the lanes of travel.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Donald Bourque expressed his concerns. “We are extremely… pleased that you came in front of us, bringing all this stuff to us.”
The issue was addressed at the last meeting as well.
There are several programs that are available for the renovation of the road in regard to safety. Public Works Director J.T. Gaucher has been looking into the various programs that are affordable with grants and state money to help fund improvements on the parkway.
Vice Chair Deborah Keefe lives in the vicinity of the school and stated that Poland Street has a light on every pole, yet Third Street has no lighting at all. She suggested that a few of the Poland Street lights could be moved to Third Street.
The board agreed to move forward with the safety committee to improve the safety of the street but also cautioned that it could take up to several years for the state to do anything about the present condition and may not fall in the favor of the town.
Suzette Raun of Indian Ranch then came before the board with a 2012 season update. “This was actually a very good year for Indian Ranch.” Raun said.
Raun had spoke to the neighbors in regard to some of the shows at the ranch and there were no complaints on their part. There were three complaints filed over the season. Two were for concerts and one at the campsites. During the September 9 noise complaint, the officer who responded to the call determined that the noise was not unreasonable.
Selectman Jeffrey Duggan commended the establishment for their efforts in complying and maintaining the requests set forth by the board.
Chairman Bourque said, “I think the board is delighted that you had a great season.”
He also stated it was very exciting to see some of the big name artists that played the ranch “coming to little ole’ Webster.”
Indian Ranch is in the early stages for planning the next season.
The Webster-Dudley Business Alliance will be holding the Fifth Annual Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. Town Administrator John McAuliffe commented on the number of lights that will be on the tree. “We want everyone’s lights to dim when we light this thing.”
The Meals Tax, a one-percent-for-every dollar tax, reached $228,347. According to John McAuliffe, this is budget revenue that is not earmarked but can be plugged in anywhere to help balance the budget.
Selectman Robert Miller addressed the board in regard to a bill that would give children of illegal aliens in-state college tuition. Miller agreed with the Oxford Board of Selectmen, who are in opposition to the bill and sent a letter to the governor and legislature. Miller wants to adapt their letter and send it to the legislature.
Much like the shopping mob, a Food Drive Mob has been assembled and will have a number of receptacles in the Webster-Dudley area where food can be dropped off for the Food Share Program. On December 15, there will be tents and trucks behind the Wind Tiki restaurant from 12 to 5 p.m. where volunteers can assist in collecting and loading the trucks for delivery.