Erving TM passes vehicle restriction, state flag resolution

  • Erving Town Hall FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/2/2019 5:32:48 PM
Modified: 5/2/2019 5:32:37 PM

ERVING — With the exception of a close vote on a resolution to change the state flag, voters passed the Annual Town Meeting articles unanimously on Wednesday.

The topics of a heavy commercial vehicle restriction and a resolution to change the state flag, which passed by two votes, sparked discussion among voters.

Heavy commercial vehicle restriction

Voters unanimously passed a bylaw which prohibits vehicles carrying more than 2½ tons from driving through Church and North streets.

Exceptions include vehicles that originate from the streets, making deliveries to and from residences on the street and vehicles used in connection with construction or repairs on the streets.

If the bylaw is violated, there is a $20 fine.

In preparation for the restriction, an engineering study was conducted for the area through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Selectboard Chair Scott Bastarache said the article was a collaboration between the town of Erving and the town of Northfield; an article will go in front of the Northfield voters as well.

“The reason why we’re going with the dollar amount is that there were other financial values we could have done to fine them, but it wouldn’t have been supported by the Massachusetts General Law,” Bastarache said. “This was associated through the Mass. General Law to the driver and the organization so if they violate, it will go on their driver’s license, the backing on it is stiffer.”

Erving Police Chief Christopher Blair said smartphones have caused an increase of trucks going down the roads.

“As everybody has gotten smartphones and they have GPS on them, the traffic on that road has shot up by the thousands,” Blair said. “The bigger problem is in Northfield. They can’t make the hill. It’s steep and we’ve had a half dozen trucks stopped on that hill. They have to be towed out, we have to close the road on our end, they have to close it on their end.”

Brenda Silva said she lives on Mountain Road and vehicles speed down the road. 

“You’d think they wouldn’t because the end is a dirt road, but they still do,” Silva said. “It’s great for Church and North streets, but it’s pushing the problem down the line. We’re being adversely affected now.”

Bastarache said when the town started doing the baseline studies, it needed the study to be able to look at the growth and the numbers before the town could say there’s a problem. MassDOT requires proof with the study in order to consider the restriction.

He added the study began two years ago on Church and North streets and the Selectboard is working with MassDOT to do Mountain Road next.

Other articles

Voters approved the $3.2 million Erving Elementary School’s budget, which is an increase of 3.4 percent from this school year.

The approved budget for the 2020 fiscal year secondary education funding is the same as this year at about $1.3 million.

This funding is based on an estimate of the number of Erving students in grades seven through 12 who may attend the Gill-Montague School District for the coming year, according to the warrant.

Erving’s budget for the Franklin County Technical School is about $580,000 which is a 6.7 percent increase. Last fiscal year, the town allocated about $544,000.

Voters also approved a $35,000 capital improvement for the water department to install an emergency generator, an appropriation of $45,000 for a wastewater pickup truck and $25,000 from free cash for the installation of electrical service and lighting at the Riverfront Park.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at mbourdeau@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 263.




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