Streetscape Steering Committee
Minutes of Regular Meeting
Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 7:00 pm
East Hampton Town Hall Meeting Room
Agenda Item #1: Call to Order
Streetscape Steering Committee Chairperson Elizabeth Harris called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Other committee members present were Kevin Burnham and Ralph Stoeckle.
Agenda Item #2: Approval of minutes of May21, 2008 Regular Meeting
Motion to approve the minutes of the May 21, 2008 Regular Meeting was made by Ralph Stoeckle and seconded by Kevin Burnham. Motion was approved unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Communications and Announcements
Kevin Burnham reported no new developments on the Main Street bridge replacement project. The Design Review Board is formulating guidelines and wishes the Streetscape Steering Committee to review the Streetscape Components section and add comments. The Committee should plan to attend a DRB meeting to facilitate coordination between the two organizations.
Agenda Item #4: Streetscape plans
The DOT has begun work on the Main Street/East High Street intersection with some tree trimming and removal. Bid opening for the East High Street streetscape project commenced today, with the low bidder being Morais Construction at $286,420. Heidi Hajna of TPA anticipates that construction will extend into the 2009 calendar year.
Agenda Item #5: Consideration of signage plan and Town features/destinations
The committee viewed some images of wayfinding signs from W. S. Sign and Design Corporation. East Hampton’s designated emergency shelter is the High School, last needed in 1985 following a hurricane. Per Police Chief Matt Reimondo, the school does not have the capacity to house all of the Town’s residents due to insufficient generator power. Ideally, the four Town public schools could be completely powered by emergency sources and provide shelter for all. The Town also lacks a designated civil preparedness employee, such services being currently provided by a generous volunteer.
Agenda Item #6: Middle Haddam Road
Town Council did not approve an expenditure of $2500 for the next phase of traffic calming analysis on Middle Haddam Road, to include a charrette with stakeholders, summary, and meeting with DOT representatives by Joe Balskus of Tighe and Bond. It was suggested that the $700 remaining in the budget be utilized to complete this phase. Interim Town Manager Bob Drewry has forwarded preliminary recommendations from Tighe and Bond to the DOT and State Traffic Commission; the DOT’s reply stated that the matter was being forwarded to a particular department. Preparations for a charrette will be delayed until further reply is received from the DOT. A recent article in the Hartford Courant profiled an inexpensive and durable chip sealing technique which mimics a dirt road, currently being tested in Old Saybrook as part of an
effort to reduce traffic speed. While the DOT might be unwilling to utilize this surface preparation on Middle Haddam Road, especially given that it was resurfaced in 2003, the technique might be useful elsewhere in Town, particularly around Lake Pocotopaug.
Agenda Item #7: Next Steps
Liz Harris will plan to attend the August meeting of the Design Review Board; meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Committee members will review Design Review Board criteria and forward comments to Kevin Burnham. Heidi Hajna from TPA is examining the streetscape bid from Morais Construction and contacting references; any extra funds can be put toward items previously deferred by the Committee, such as additional lighting, rehabilitation of the historic bell sign, trees, and other landscaping. The committee will continue to explore wayfinding sign options and identify/itemize nodes for signs. The Committee anticipates a charrette with stakeholders in the Middle Haddam Road issue once comments from the DOT have been received.
Agenda Item #8: Public Comments
Mr. Robert Kilpatrick expressed dissatisfaction concerning alternatives to the loss of parking spaces in the right-of-way at the Lakeshore Package establishment due to the streetscaping project; he is currently exploring a shared access arrangement with the owner of the Citgo station. Mary Ann Dostaler noted that, at the last Town Council meeting, bids for the Main Street bridge replacement project were high, and the design was scaled back; that bid was awarded.
Agenda Item #9: Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 7:41pm. The next SSC meeting is anticipated for August 20, 2008, 7:00 pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room.
Respectfully submitted by Elizabeth Harris.