Time to stop wasting money and fix Pelletier Avenue issue

To the editor:

I just finished watching a part of the Feb. 27 Frenchville Board of Selectmen/Budget Committee meeting and I’m appalled at what Craig Lawrence and Ryan Pelletier are spinning in order to influence public opinion on the Pelletier Avenue issue.

First of all, the arguments that they are making about the mediation being wrong don’t hold up because, on June 22, all of the selectmen and the town manager were in attendance and they all agreed to the mediation arrangement.  The judge who signed the order was not involved in the mediation but there were 4 lawyers who worked on the final order and it was read out loud by the mediator and all parties agreed to have their attorneys sign on their behalf. (The town only paid for 1 of those lawyers.)

If the selectmen would read the mediation order correctly they would see that there is no obligation to do any more than complete the ditching. There is no need to rebuild the road or pave it. The mediation order reads, “Pelletier Ave. … is declared to be a public way, without limitation of its use by the public, including paving and maintenance thereof.” It does not demand anything other than ditching and it doesn’t say it has to be paved or rebuilt.

The solution is simply a matter of digging a ditch to divert the water from going into the Ouellette’s field and moving the center of the road over 6 feet. There is plenty of room to do that without major construction because on the other side of the road there is a 12 foot ditch that could be made much smaller because it is at the top of the watershed.

The selectmen, namely Craig Lawrence, state that they have spent all of the money, close to $100,000, that was left to finish the road project on lawyers.  If they did, they are wasting the town’s money on a fight that should never have happened. We paid an attorney to work on the same case on our behalf and it has cost less than $15,000.

The selectmen are supposed to look for the best interest of the town but instead are wasting the taxpayer money by fighting this ridiculous battle. It’s time that Frenchville residents rise up and tell the selectmen and town manager to stop wasting time and more of our taxpayer dollars and fix the problem once and for all.  

It’s not a matter of millions of dollars and no more legal expense needs to be incurred. It would only take around $40.000 to comply with the mediation agreement and put this issue behind us.     

After all, it is a public road and, at the last town meeting in November, residents voted to keep it open. There are 3 families and hundreds of people who depend on the road every day.  What more do the selectmen want?

John Ezzy
81 Pelletier Ave.

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