CLARKSBURG, Mass. - A backup at the Red Mills spring two weeks ago sent icy water cascading over River Road, creating a driving hazard and flooding the basement of a nearby house.
The state Highway Department had to be called in to clean up the mess - all because spring users have been dropping their plastic jugs in the spring.
"There was an active stream about 15 feet wide going across the road," said Selectman Carl McKinney at Wednesday's meeting. "We ask people to be respectful of that service that the water district provides free of charge ... The town keeps that area salted and sanded [for users]."
Jugs and other debris clogged up the culvert that runs under Route 8 and into the Hoosic River, causing the basin to overflow during the night.
MassHighway responded with several pieces of equipment to clear the thick band of ice away and unplug the culvert.
"I'm sure it cost the state several thousands in costs and man-hours for the sake of a dollar or two plastic jug," he said.
Red Mills is owned by the Briggsville Water District, not the town of Clarksburg. There's a constant flow of people with jugs filling up at the popular spring.
Some years ago, PVC piping was installed to bring the water up to the sidewalk level to make it easier for people to fill up. But the four water spouts were broken off not long ago and the water is now flowing from a single spout.
"There could come a time when the water district just might take that pipe out of there and let it run under the bridge like they used to," warned Chairwoman Debra LeFave. "For all the people who love it, they should at least try to keep it clean."
The board said spring users need to be proactive by keeping the area clean and encouraging others to do the same.
In other business, the board also reminded residents that the winter parking ban is in effect and there is no parking allowed on town roads until April 15, 2009.
The Selectmen were asked to approve the erection of two "Caution Horses" signs for Horrigan Road. The signs have been purchased by the applicant, John Owensby, who operates a hayrides and sleigh rides along the road.
"The whole idea is to prevent what happened a few years ago when a horse was killed on Middle Road," he said.
LeFave asked Owensby to also purchase the posts and check with Police Chief Michael Williams on their placement. Owensby agreed.
A used car license was approved for Ken Larabee and the board appointed Building Inspector Vincent Lively as "trench enforcement officer" to comply with new state regulations on the digging of trenches.
Of the four establishments with liquor licenses in town, only Golden Eagle Restaurant applied for a license renewal. That was approved along with its two entertainment licenses.
The Mountain View Restaurant, North Adams Country Club and Cross Road Variety failed to reapply in time for approval on Wednesday. The board won't meet again until January (the next December meeting date falls on Christmas Eve.)
The fate of the Mountain View, which operated as a club and restaurant for many years, has been the subject of speculation since it closed more than a year ago. Owners Michael Milazzo and his father, the late Anthony "Tony" Milazzo, had reopened it as a restaurant but it soon became popular as a drinking establishment.
There were complaints by neighbors of noise and fighting; the issue came to a head when the club tried to bring in nude dancing. The Milazzos then started up a gravel yard behind the club.
Town Administrator Michael Canales said the licenses lapse at midnight on Dec. 31. The holders would have to reapply and the town would have to hold a public hearing before they can be renewed.
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Why don't they see if students from the McCann Metal Fab Shop & the Carpentry Shop can build a better system. Use metal instead of PVC and build a decent platform?