By Kara Herlihy
Warren Road Foreman Raemon Weston was present at the December 9 meeting of the Select Board to give an update on road maintenance so far this winter. Weston said, "It's a slow time of year" for the road crew.
Select board chair Burt Bauchner read a letter aloud from Sugarbush Resort owner Win Smith regarding signage at the bottom of the Sugarbush Access Road that warns of a "treacherous windy mountain road" and further states that "snow tires are required."
Bauchner listed a few of the points raised by Smith in his letter addressed to the select board; Smith said that Sugarbush is turning 50 this year, and there have never been problems with the access road that would justify such a cautionary sign.
Bauchner said that Smith's letter states that the sign "makes the access road appear treacherous, and it is not." Weston responded that the road "is a safety issue for the road crew" when people drive without snow tires in inclement conditions.
Weston further suggested that the select board consult the town's attorney and ask whether the town can be held liable without cautionary signage warning drivers about the condition of the road.
SIGNAGE IS REQUIRED
"People pass our trucks on that road," Weston continued. Select board member Andy Cunningham said, "I think some signage is required; we wouldn't want to remove a sign for safety reasons."
The sign's language was reviewed, while some select board members questioned whether "required" could be interchanged with "recommended" in regard to the necessity of snow tires throughout the winter months.
"People aren't going to drive four hours to ski here and turn around at the last hill," said select board member Kirsten Reilly. She continued, "It always helps to slow people down."
Cunningham suggested that Smith come address the select board under the collective sentiment that the board is "not receptive to changing the sign much."
Warren Department of Public Works director Barry Simpson added, "It's good to let people know what their expectations might be."
Bauchner continued, "It's safe to assume that a fair number of people up there aren't experienced winter drivers."
The select board agreed to contact Smith and arrange for a continued conversation about the signage in question.