Hartford DPW taking over county snow plowing duties

B y Derek Liebig

The next time it snows the Hartford Highway Department will have some additional road surfaces to clear.

During its monthly town board meeting on Feb. 8, the town board authorized Highway Superintendent Greg Brown to sign a contract between the town and Washington County that will require the town to remove snow and ice from Washington County Route 23 and Route 23A in the town of Hartford between Routes 149 and 40. The area is essentially Hartford’s main street and is commonly referred to as the “Hartford Loop” and “East Street.”

In exchange for its services, Washington County agreed to pay Hartford an annual rate of $5,000 per mile. The total distance the Hartford Highway Department is responsible for is 1.36 miles, meaning the town will receive $6,800 per year from Washington County.

According to Supervisor Dana Haff, the county asked Hartford if it would be amenable to the agreement since the town garages are located on County Route 23 and town highway crews already had to travel the route on their way to plow other roads in the community. “It only works for us because we already travel the road,” Haff explained to board members.

He said the contract had been in the works for a little while and the county and town had exchanged contracts on one or two occasions prior, but couldn’t reach an agreement because of a provision that would require the town to be responsible for ditches, culverts and catch-basins along the corridor.

With that provision removed, town officials felt satisfied with the agreement and unanimously approved Brown to sign and submit the contract to the county.

The contract requires the town, within a reasonable time during each snowfall (defined as two inches) to control hazardous conditions by sanding/salting and plowing the road. The town also agrees to sweep the road clear of accumulated sand/salt each spring.

The contract is set to remain in force until Dec. 31, 2014. Each party (the town or the county) has the choice to terminate the contract at the end of any year after 2014.

The town will receive half the $6,800 in January each year, with the remaining total paid out in April.

Haff said during the meeting that he would like to put the money the town will receive into the Highway Department’s capital projects fund.

In other news, the board discussed a proposal to move the polling place from the school to the firehouse.

The proposal, which has been discussed for some time now, can’t move forward until a contract is signed between the Washington County Board of Elections and the Hartford Volunteer Fire Company.

Before that can happen, the firehouse needs to be inspected by the county to make sure it meets certain standards, such as handicap accessibility, and the ability to secure polling equipment until the county can retrieve it after an election.

The town board also extended the deadline for residents to submit an application for a soon-to-be-created Economic or Local Development Corporation. Anyone interested in serving on the board has until the March 8 town board meeting to submit a letter of interest to Town Clerk Denise Petteys.

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