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October 16,1979 Rutland Herald

Submitted by Mickey Kelly and Fred Remington

Battle Brews on Street Widening

The Board of Alderman Monday night set the stage for a potentially explosive confrontation with 35 State Street residents who are opposed to giving strips of their properties for a major street improvement project.

The board set November 20 as the date for a special meeting to consider condemnation proceedings against these property owners who will not cooperate with the project.

City Attorney Robert Broderick told the board Monday night that the state, which will be paying 12.5 percent of the project costs, will send to the meeting representatives who will testify as to the public good of the project and the fair values of the properties.

The two-year-old State Street Improvement project calls for widening and repaving the street, installing curbing and widening corners.

Although Broderick could not give the cost of the project, he said that the federal government would pick up 75 percent of the tab. Rutland City and the state will pick up 12.5 percent of the costs.

The city needs 75 property easements for the project, Broderick said. Approximately 35 property owners have refused to grant easements, he said. No homes would be taken only chunks of lawn, he noted.

City officials will have little incentive to increase the property settlements advocated by the state. If the alderman vote to increase the awards, the city would pay the entire cost of the difference, Broderick said.

Aldermen were also informed Monday night of a proposal by Lynnfield Development Corp. of Boston, Mass. to build a 90 unit housing complex on a 26-acre site on the east side of Campbell Road.

The news came in the form of a request by ACF, for a
 zoning change. The 26 acre site is now zoned Residence-A. The request was for a change to Residence B to allow for multi-family dwelling.

The board also took long awaited action to adopt the national Life Safety Code as a city ordinance, the city has to print the entire code in the Herald or make 500 copies available to the public.

The board voted 5-3, with Alderman John McDonough abstaining, to take $2,200 from the city contingency fund to buy 500 copies.

The only vocal opponent of adopting the proposal was Alderman William Bloomer, who said the codes were alright for big cities like Boston or New York, but were out of place or unenforceable in Rutland.

"I do not think a house in Rutland meets the requirements, I know mine doesn’t," said Bloomer, who argued the city could  draw up its own code.

Aldermanic President Allan Merritt, however, said the city fire chief and building inspector both wanted the city to adopt the code. Besides, Merritt said, the board had already adopted the code, all that was at issue was how to best to insure the adoption was valid, Merritt said.

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