On July 19, 2023

Property owners, contractors warned about culvert replacements, specs


By Curt Peterson

The Killington Select Board called an Emergency/Special Meeting inspired by repairs by residents following the recent storms. Some property owners’ culverts are within the town right-of-way, and selectmen want to warn that any culvert they install may be deemed “temporary” and have to be replaced as required by the terms of federal funding.

The most sensitive area is East Mountain Road, where many driveways were washed-out.

A major issue regarding property repairs is funding — by property owners, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and by the town.

Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth pointed out that culverts would have been approved by the town when installed, but hydrology studies being performed may indicate they aren’t large enough for anticipated future flood conditions. If it’s determined a replacement culvert is too small, it may have to be re-replaced, he said.

Any culvert replacement in the town right of way, Hagenbarth said, must be considered “emergency temporary repairs” until the flood requirement study determines its appropriateness, Hagenbarth explained.

FEMA funds temporary measures following a qualified emergency, and ultimately covers the expense of creating any infrastructure improvements that anticipate future natural events, such as flooding. Regarding culverts, Selectman Jim Haff, met with FEMA representatives to get clarification and agreements regarding emergency funding. Haff said FEMA may pay for upgrades to larger sizes.

Selectman Chris Karr said the Select Board will do whatever it takes to notify all property owners and contractors of the situation to wait for updated information on spec sizing before paying for any work that might ultimately have to be redone.

“We have to get the word out, whatever it costs,” Karr said.

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