Dalton voters narrowly approve exempting roadwork bond from levy limit

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DALTON — Dalton Division Road is inching toward reconstruction.

Voters at the annual town election Monday narrowly approved exempting an estimated $800,000 bond needed for engineering, design and right-of-way acquisition for the Dalton Division Road from the town's Proposition 2 1/2 levy limit.

Voters approved the exemption, the only question appearing on the annual election ballot, 119 in favor to 103 against. A total 226 voters out of the town's 4,602 registered voters cast ballots in Monday's election.

The actual borrowing authorization will be voted on at a future town meeting.

The approval allows the town to borrow the necessary five-year bond payment outside of the annual amount raised by taxes. The estimated $800,000 bond payment, which would be in addition to the annual tax assessment, is expected to add 29 cents per thousand dollars of valuation or an additional $60 a year over the five-year period.

The town must provide engineering and right-of-way acquisition prior to the state being able to start the $10 million Dalton Division Road project. Residents have expressed concerns about the road's safety and traffic issues; minimal signage, worn pavement and limited sight distances. Dalton Police have also confirmed frequent speeding through the Williams Street intersection. The road also lacks shoulders and sidewalks for pedestrians.

Voters also re-elected incumbents Robert W. Bishop Jr. to the Select Board, Deborah Merry as town clerk, Anthony Doyle as town moderator and John W. Bartels Jr. for a 3-year term as a cemetery trustee.

Donald Harris was elected to a 3-year term on the Planning Board, and Alice Liebenow was elected to a 5-year term on the Dalton Housing Authority. Both ran unopposed.

Finance Committee members Tracey Cahalan and Karen Schmidt were both re-elected for three years. A third seat on the committee remains open.

Library Trustees Judith Douville and Joan Roy were also re-elected, each to 3-year terms. No one ran for the third position.

According to Merry, the Select Board could choose to appoint individuals to fill the Finance Committee seat and open library trustee position until the next annual town election.

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@berkshireeagle.com, at @BE_pleboeuf on Twitter and 413-496-6247.


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