TOWNSEND — A recent bill for work done at Dudley Meadows was a source of consternation for the Planning Board. It was made even stranger by a request for more money than the bill required for payment, requested by developer Peter Bradley.
“I thought we were all paid back in July,” board member Jeffrey Peduzzi said during the Monday, Dec. 10 meeting.
“Apparently there were extra expenses that were never billed,” secretary Jeanne Hollows said.
The previous bill had been for $342.62, Hollows said. The new bill, delivered on Oct. 24, is for $834.
Bradley had requested a partial release of bond money, which is being held by the town, for the total amount needed to pay off the remaining bill. However, the request was in excess of $2,000 while the bills came to just under $1,200.
Peduzzi wondered why Bradley would need all that money. Hollows explained that it was for the estimated cost of future work.
Peduzzi suggested getting estimates from an independent engineering firm for the remaining work to be done on the development, in accordance with comments made by Kay Doyle, town counsel, on the last bond release request.
Those comments had been ignored then, but Peduzzi said he did not see the sense in continuing down the same road when the option was there to be more thorough.
“We can fix it,” agreed Vice Chairman Nicholas Thalheimer.
In his letter to the board, Bradley had also asked if the board thought the town might accept the road constructed for the development as a public way, without all the houses being constructed.
Peduzzi was quick to reject the idea.
“I would say no for the reasons he cited: The houses aren’t finished. You’re going to have trucks running up and down that road, tearing it up. If the road doesn’t hold up to them, it can’t be accepted as a town way.”
“Technically, those houses never have to be built,” Chairman Stanley Vladyka pointed out. “I’d like to get (Ed Kukkula, the highway superintendent’s) decision before we do anything.”
“The point of having it accepted as a town way is so he no longer has to maintain it. The town doesn’t want to be financially responsible,” Peduzzi argued.
“He’s got 150 houses, and can only finish a maximum of three a year,” Vladyka noted.
“Not my problem,” Peduzzi countered. “As a developer, it’s a risk you take. He knew the rules going in. Horseshoe Drive took 10 years, for the same reason.”
Peduzzi admitted that this was just his opinion and that Bradley could always petition town meeting for acceptance of the road. However, the board would be asked for an opinion on the matter. If that were to happen, Peduzzi made it clear that he would not support such a request.
The board voted unanimously to get an estimate from a third-party engineering firm before making a decision to grant the release of funds to Bradley.
Before tending to other business, the board endorsed a pair of Approval Not Required (ANR) plans for construction on Fitchburg Road and Emery Road/Tyler Road, respectively, then voted to pay a bill of their own for work done on the Village at Patriot Common.