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Somerset Village Board approves revisions to ATV / UTV route

Village of Somerset trustees voted 5-1 Tuesday night, Jan. 23, to revise the designated ATV UTV route originally approved earlier this year. The goal of the revision, recommended by the Public Safety Committee, is to minimize the portion of route running through residential neighborhoods.

Trustee Bartt Palmer reiterated his opposition to the designated route on the basis that no public hearing was held to allow for residents to comment and that neither the police chief nor public works director's concerns were considered.

"I am still opposed to this for a couple reasons. We didn't hold a public hearing prior to this for the residents to state their opinions and I am not in favor of the routes running through some residential areas. I'd also like to point out, we have plans in the works to eliminate Depot Street and Cloutier Drive as a truck route if and when we can revise the downtown intersection so trucks can make that radius turn. I'd like to mention again, this board is moving forward, apparently, without the recommendation of the chief of police and the public works director," said Palmer.

"For the sake of argument, I'll just add, although it may be through a residential area it's also on our business route for trucks, so that's kind of where the public safety committee came to agree upon it. It's larger roads that cut down some issues with sight lines. I think it was the most viable route to move forward with," explained Village President John Melvin.

Trustees agreed on a one year probation period for the route starting Jan. 23, 2018 and ending Jan. 23, 2019. The planned route goes through the stop lights at Main Street, up to Depot Road, to Cloutier Drive, then down to Sunrise Drive and south of town on County Road I.

MSA representative Dave Scholfield updated trustees on several projects. He said MSA expects to have a draft wastewater evaluation report ready for board review at their February meeting along with draft recommendations for the park system based, in part, on 55 responses received as part of an online survey. Schofield also expects to be able to present a design and bid plan addressing the water tower repair project at the February board meeting. MSA also plans to demonstrate the new GIS system at that meeting.

Other business

• Trustees approved a final pay request of $11,592.87 to A-1 Excavating for completion of the Frances Street project.

• Trustees approved the hire of new public works employee, Ben Newman.

• Trustees tabled discussion/approval of the 2018-2019 Police Contract.

• Trustees agreed to pay MSA a fee not to exceed $5,000 to manage the review of two proposed properties to be annexed within the context of the village's comprehensive plan and to make recommendations based on that review.