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Eastonites Could Get Break on Driveway Bond Issue

EASTON, Conn. – It looks like there could be light at the end of the asphalt tunnel for any Easton resident with an outstanding driveway bond that is more than 10 years old.

The town is sitting on $278,000 worth of outstanding driveway bonds that date back more than a decade, according to First Selectman Thomas Herrmann. On Thursday, the Board of Selectman agreed that something needed to be done, including the possibility of returning the money to residents.

A driveway ordinance was enacted in Easton in 1980 to ensure that residents had working and up-to-code driveways, which prevents damage to town roads and residential properties. Property owners, under the ordinance, must put down $2,500 bond to ensure driveway work is done correctly.

“You are holding somebody’s money, you either have to fix it or return the money,” said Selectman Scott Centrella. He also said it was “absolutely absurd” that the town was sitting on that kind of money.

The lifespan of a typical driveway is about 20 years. Herrmann asked why the town was still in possession of older bonds. “It probably doesn’t make sense to hold bonds for 20 years,” he said. “We need to come up with a policy on old bonds."

Town Engineer Ed Nagy was asked by Herrmann “to methodically” go through and process all outstanding bonds and determine a policy to fix the issue. No time frame was given for this process during Thursday’s meeting.

“We have to move through this and get it done in a reasonable period of time,” Centrella said.

The selectmen are expected to discuss the issue again at the next scheduled meeting later this month.

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