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Easton to Address Driveway Bond Controversy

EASTON, Conn. – Complaints about the town's handling of driveway bonds will be taken up at the Dec. 1 meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

The issue recently became a hot topic when Town Clerk Derek Buckley sent a letter to the selectmen saying that the town's reputation has been harmed by difficulties residents encounter getting driveway bonds refunded.

In response, First Selectman Thomas Herrmann has requested that the director of public works provide a list of all outstanding driveway bonds, including the date the bond was taken, location of property, amount of the bond and status of the release.

Residents are required to deposit the bonds with the town to ensure that driveway work is performed according to town specifications. Among other things, the specifications are designed to avoid road flooding. When the work has been inspected and approved, the bonds are supposed to be refunded.

In his letter, Buckley wrote: “In conversations with employees, residents and others it appears to be general knowledge that it is very difficult to get a driveway bond refunded in Easton. The town has a very poor reputation, and something should be done to restore it."

Comments on The Daily Easton's Facebook page accused certain town officials of making it difficult on contractors doing home renovations or construction in Easton.

A former resident has filed a small claims lawsuit against the town stating that he delivered a $2,500 bond to the town on July 16, 2004, “to cover the installation of a driveway apron” at 250 Maple Road. The suit says the apron was installed, “inspected and approved by the town on or before Oct. 6, 2009” but that the plaintiff has yet to have his bond refunded.

Tuesday night, Herrmann said, “I think the situation should be addressed and bonds that are older than certain date should be returned.”

The Board of Selectmen are expected to discuss the issue on Dec. 1. Herrmann said he did not think a motion will be made. “It’s purely a discussion at this point.”

“We really want to bring some closure to what appears to be some longstanding issues in town,” he said.

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