On February 22, 2023

Hartland intersection project moves forward

By Curt Peterson

After public comments from four residents, three of whom were in favor of the reconfiguration of the Hartland Three Corners intersection, selectman Clyde Jenne moved to accept the $1,283,889.50 bid to complete the project at the Monday, Feb. 21 Select Board meeting.  Chair Phil Hobbie seconded the motion. 

Hobbie and Jenne were in favor of the motion. Mary O’Brien and Mandi Potter voted yes with reservations. Jim Rielly said he was voting in favor to make it unanimous.

The winning bid from Notts Excavating, Inc. of White River, is just $35,000 more than the state-produced estimate. The additional funds will probably come from a surplus fund the town has accumulated over 15 years.

Town Manager David Ormiston said the town engineer’s analysis of Notts’s bid found it “legitimate” and the contractor is capable of completing the work for the price quoted.

O’Brien and Potter each said they had personal reservations about the project, but felt the voters wanted it.

“I’m here to represent the voters,” O’Brien said, “and they have said twice they want this project.”

Selectman Jim Rielly suggested there were “options” the board should consider, such as waiting till the next board meeting to vote, negotiating to exclude burying the utility lines to save money, and to put the project up for public vote one more time.

Ormiston said the bid requests were approved by the board, and Notts’s bid was submitted Feb. 10. They are only valid for 30 days, so any delay could mean losing the opportunity to accept it.

The Select Board hopes reconfiguration of the intersection of state Routes  5 and 12, as well as Quechee Road in the works since 2014, will improve both safety and aesthetics.

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