May 20, 2019

Chester Selectmen Endorse State Plan for Improvements to Road in State Forest

CHESTER— The board of selectmen Tuesday endorsed a plan by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for drainage improvements to Cedar Swamp Road in the Cockaponset State Forest.

First Selectman Edmund Meehan said the DEEP Forestry division is planning to install low water flow culverts on sections of Cedar Swamp Road, an unimproved town road that runs south through the state forest to the Winthrop section of Deep River. Meehan said the drainage work is intended to reduce storm water flows that have led to rutting in the road and damaged forest vegetation after use by various all-terrain vehicles. The drainage work would be done in the spring of 2014.

The plan for improvements was also reviewed by the town’s conservation commission, which asked the DEEP in install signs near the end of the improved section of the road in Chester declaring the road is suitable for use only be 4-wheel drive vehicles. In 2009, the state began closing and blocking the road at both the Chester and Deep River ends during the winter months. But the rugged unimproved road is open for use during the warm weather seasons.

In other business Tuesday, the board agreed to ask voters at a town meeting to amend a town ordinance to set the membership of the appointed economic development commission at five members. Meehan said the town ordinance establishing the economic development commission sets the membership for the panel at seven, though only four members are currently serving on the commission. Meehan said this has led to problems securing a quorum of members to hold legal meetings. The proposed amendment, to be included on the agenda of a town meeting to be held this fall, would specify an EDC with five members to be appointed by the board of selectmen for three year terms.

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