Sunderland Planning Board adds pair

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SUNDERLAND — The town planning board is back to a working quorum after two new members were appointed by the Sunderland Select Board on Monday night.

Scott Magrath and Tucker Kimball were appointed in separate unanimous votes. That brings the planning board back to three members, including chairman Ed Bove.

Two weeks ago, the board rescinded the appointment of Lily Van Haverbeke, and Peter Luca and Scott York subsequently resigned without explanation.

On Monday, the select board formally accepted Luca and York's resignations before adding Magrath for a two-year term and Kimball for a three-year term.

"Now we have a functioning planing board, so that's good news," chairman Mark Hyde said. "It's good to see new faces — they're both new faces to town government."

Magrath, the director of college counseling at Long Trail School, said he and his family have lived in Sunderland since 2008.

"I have really wanted to give back to the town but having two young children has made for a pretty busy life the last few years," Magrath said by email. "As they have gotten older ... the time seemed right to contribute in any way that I could."

Magrath said Bove asked him and Kimball to join the planning board, "and it seemed like a great opportunity. I have known Ed for the past 6-7 years and I know he will do a great job introducing me to this important civic responsibility. I am looking forward to working with Ed, Tucker, and many others to help Sunderland be the best it can."

The bulk of Monday's meeting was spent in discussion with town highway foreman Marc Johnston about upcoming road improvement projects.

Sunderland has received more than $220,000 -- "pretty impressive for a small town," Hyde said -- for a trio of road projects. They include about $97,000 for bridge replacement on North Road, $37,000 for paving Hill Farm Road, and $87,000 to replace a box culvert on Sunderland Hill Road.

The official paperwork for the Sunderland Hill Road culvert has not yet arrived, and the Select Board noted that both the Sunderland Hill Road and North Road projects would involve the closing of a road for about two weeks.

Hyde said that the town does not want the two roads closed at the same time, and does not want either closed when school is in session.

With that in mind, the board decided to proceed with the North Road and Hill Farm Road projects, voting to accept both grants. If there is time remaining in the season to complete the Sunderland Hill project it will proceed, but there's no rush, as the grant from the state is good for 30 months.

Johnston also updated the board on upcoming equipment purchases, including a snow plow with which to equip the town's new highway truck, for a little under $9,000, and a riding mower that would cost $2,623.

The advantage of the new mower, Johnston said, is that would do the job more quickly and could be outfitted with a rack to hold the highway department's weed trimmer. That way, both of the town's highway employees don't have to be tied up with trimming work at the same time.

Reach Journal editor Greg Sukiennik at 802-490-6000.

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