Phillipston DPW Chief seeks lighting for dangerous road spots

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 1/8/2019 8:00:21 PM

PHILLIPSTON — Public Works Director Rick Tenney told selectmen at their most recent meeting that he’s moving to secure street lights for some of the more dangerous stretches of roads in town.

One location for a new light would be on a sharp corner on Highland Avenue by the Red Apple Farm.

“There’s no streetlight there,” said Tenney. “There’s a lot of traffic that goes off the road there, especially in the winter time. It’s very dark.”

“There’s no light down at Baldwin Hill Road, at the end by (Route) 2A,” he continued, “and also on Blake Corner Road onto 2A there’s no light. We had somebody two weeks ago who actually took a left to go onto Blake Corner Road and turned off before Blake Corner Road and went right down over the embankment. I take that road and its pitch black trying to find the road, especially if it’s raining.”

“I can make a phone call and have the lights put in,” he told the board, “but I’d like to have some support for having them put in.”

“There’s already a street light over there, further up from the apple farm,” said Tenney, “so, I don’t think it will affect any of their summertime nighttime functions. It’s a hard bend in the road there, and a lot of people go off that right-hand side. It’s just beyond the apple farm heading toward Royalston.”

Police Sgt. Bill Chapman said, “We do have a lot of accidents over there and anything we can do to make it safer would be a good move.”

Board Chairman John Telepciak asked if the state Dept. of Transportation would need to be contacted before lights could be installed in the areas suggested by the DPW chief.

“I will check with them first to be sure,” said Tenney “I don’t think they do, but I would let them know and make sure they’re in the loop. I’d make sure our T’s are crossed and our I’s are dotted. It’s all in the idea of safety, that’s all.”

Selectman Kim Pratt inquired as to which utilities would be involved in moving ahead with the proposal.

“I want to say that National Grid would do all the work,” Tenney replied. “They’d put the lights up and run the wiring.”

“It’s a flat rate that’s paid,” said Phillipston’s Chief Administrative Officer, Kevin Flynn. “There are some locations, like the common, where we’re metered, but for street lights it’s a flat rate.”

While no formal vote to endorse Tenney’s efforts was taken by the board, selectmen did express support for his initiative.

The DPW director also told selectmen he has been in contact with National Grid about upgrading the exterior lighting at the highway, police, and fire departments from incandescent to LED lights.

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