SPENCER – Selectmen said they’ll spend up to $7,500 to hire an engineer in an effort to finally resolve a drainage issue on Bacon Hill Road.
For more than a year, William Keyes has complained that the town made changes to Bacon Hill Road including some work that required an easement which was never granted.
The changes, he said, altered the flow of runoff from the hill near his home causing damage to his property. While water previously drained down both sides of the road, it now drains entirely on one side, increasing the flow.
Last year, Keyes said the Town installed seven culverts into one and that culvert was draining onto his property. Despite being offered options to correct the problem, Keyes at that time did not want to grant the easement needed, rendering those options as undoable.
While he acknowledged this week that he didn’t own the property at the time the project was done, Keyes said the town did the work without the easement and he wants the water redirected. He’s presented an updated proposal for how the town might remedy the problem but Selectmen said they want to be sure the work is done correctly and in accordance with conservation law so they’d like to hear from an engineer.
Selectman Gary Woodbury said he believes the town “made a mistake” by doing the work and impacting the property without the easement.
Woodbury recalled that narrowing the road nearly caused it to be lost to undermining. He and other board members said they want to help but need reassurance that Keyes will sign off on the work, if it’s done, to correct the problem and grant the easement, as well.
The solution could involve more than 100 feet of pipe, a swale with riprap, a combination of those or some other recommendation from the engineer, officials said.