Plowing of Private Roads Discussed

Residents from Inland Road came before the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night asking for a by-law allowing private roads to have snow plow services. “We have trash pickup, postal delivery, water and sewer, newspaper delivery, UPS delivery, utility maintenance, but no snow plowing because we are a private road,” said Al Caron, a resident of Inland Road.

“There are nine households on Inland Road and we pay taxes, but feel that we are not fully vested in the town without snow plowing,” said Caron. The development was built back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the builder made the road private. “We want to have the road plowed in the winter to be sure fire, emergency and medical services can come down the road,” added Caron.

The proposed by-law would include all private roads in Marion.

“Do we know how many private roads there are in Marion?” asked Selectman Steve Cushing. Town Administrator Paul Dawson estimated that there are over 50 private roads in town.

“What does this mean in terms of mileage for plowing?” asked Cushing. “This could involve a huge financial consideration, and we need to gather more information on this issue.”

Dawson noted that a by-law change effort would have to start with a petition with 200 signatures from town residents to make it a ballot issue at town meeting and consideration by the Board of Selectmen.

The board agreed to take the issue under advisement and gather more information.

A discussion was held regarding the cell antenna lease at the Mill Street tank at the town dump. Nextel, a cell phone company, has been renting space on the tower for several years and now wants out of their contract with the town. According to Dawson, many cell phone companies are abandoning the use of water towers and are seeking higher towers for better band width for cell service.

Dawson said that the Marion Police Department has equipment on the Marconi Tower and is very interested in moving over to the water tower at the dump. Nextel, in their attempt to end their contract with the town, has agreed to leave the existing equipment on the tower, possibly to be used by the Marion Police Department, thus saving money on cell equipment purchases. “This issue is still being explored, but it could be an opportunity for the town to benefit from the situation presented,” said Dawson. Currently, the contract is being examined by town counsel.

A discussion regarding capital planning for the Department of Public Works facility on Benson Brook Road included the idea of possibly relocating the DPW garage, currently located on Mill Street, over to the Benson Brook facility. The town garage location is approximately two acres while the two lots on Benson Brook are thirteen acres. “Road salt storage, vehicle storage, and maintenance facilities are currently on Mill Street within a very small area,” said Dawson. “Rob Zora, DPW Chief, is asking us to look into this possibility of moving it over to Benson Brook as a long-range capital improvement plan.” Selectman Jon Henry said that if that possibility occurred, it would be an opportunity to expand the cemetery.

A draft of the Upper Cape Vocational Technical School was presented, and the board asked Dawson to confirm the number of students from Marion who were attending during the fiscal year. The budget will be discussed at the next meeting.

The board agreed to appoint Rob Zora as the representative for the Carver-Marion-Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District.

In other business, the board voted on the final readings for the water and sewer commitment in the amount of $4,067.14 as of February 24, 2014.

The board approved a one-day all-alcohol license for the Marion Social Club for a birthday party to be held on March 15 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm.

The board also approved the appointments of Robert Hoey and David Cowan as Special Police Officers.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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