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Easton Releases $27K in Driveway Bonds

EASTON, Conn. – The town took a first step in dealing with outdated driveway bonds Thursday night when the Board of Selectman authorized the release of notes worth  approximately $27,000.

“This represents a start,” First Selectman Thomas Herrmann said. “It puts a dent in things.”

The issue of outdated bonds has been a recurring theme at Board of Selectman meetings since late November, when a former resident filed a small claims suit against the town seeking $2,500 for a bond that was never released. Soon after, it was discovered that the town was sitting on $278,000 worth of outstanding bonds that date back more than a decade.

Easton enacted a driveway ordinance in 1980 to ensure that residents had working, up-to-code driveways that did not cause damage to town roads or residential properties. Under the ordinance, homeowners must post a $2,500 bond to ensure that driveway work is done correctly.

Herrmann said Thursday it was decided the town should return all driveway bonds older than 20 years and all road-opening bonds older than 15 years.

These lengths of time are based on the expected lifespans of driveways – 20 years – and road openings – 15 years, the first selectman said.

The amount released by the town was $27,480. While most of the bonds date to the early 1990s and mid-80s, one goes as far back as 1971.

Selectman Scott Centrella said he would like to have a regular meeting with Town Engineer Ed Nagy so the selectmen could be kept abreast of the situation. “Right now, we have no mechanism of monitoring this,” he said. “I just think it would be good policy.”

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