Town Manager Peter Joseph says he has heard from just as many people who support planned road reconstruction in South Freeport as those opposed, but this week, the Town Council was set to deal with a petition signed by residents who want the project stopped.

Tuesday night’s meeting was held after the Tri-Town Weekly’s print deadline.

Last spring, the Town Council approved money in its capital budget for reconstruction of Main, Middle and Park streets in South Freeport. Crews will reclaim, reconstruct and repave those three roads, trim trees back as needed and do ditching. Work is scheduled to begin next week.

But during the week of Aug. 22, the town received 26 signatures on a petition, asking that the project be stopped. All the signatures came from Main Street residents, Joseph said.

“They think that it will increase traffic when the road is paved, and they are concerned to a certain extent with tree trimming,” Joseph said. “The Town Council will look at the petition. The council approved the money in the capital budget.”

The Town Council on Tuesday night was expected to schedule a public hearing for Sept. 20 on edits to the excavation ordinance, Joseph said. That ordinance includes the posting of signs, mostly in the spring, on weight limits for certain roads. Joseph said that a revised excavation ordinance would give the town enforcement powers on those who ignore road postings.

“This will enable us to impose a fine of up to $300,” Joseph said. “We’ve had numerous complaints the last few years from people who get permits, but others ignore the postings. Some contractors and others who obey the rules say they are fed up.”

Also Tuesday night, the Town Council was set to put a town charter amendment on the Nov. 1 ballot. The council agreed earlier this year that the charter should be amended so residents no longer need to come to Town Hall to sign petitions – in accordance with state law. As the charter stands, petitions have to be signed at Town Hall in the presence of the town clerk.

During June elections, residents approved the charter amendment handily, but not enough of them came out to vote. Joseph said that 30 percent of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election must vote in order for the amendment to take effect – a turnout that is much more likely in November.

The Freeport Town Council met on Tuesday night at the Town Hall.


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