To Nelson Residents,
I wanted to clarify the confusion at Town Meeting regarding Article 14 and the use of funds held in the Nelson Bridge Repair or Replacement Expendable Trust Fund to help fund the bridge repair on West Shore Road. The question was raised as to whether or not these funds could be used due to the fact that this particular bridge was not considered a state bridge. The question then arose as to what constitutes a bridge. The wording of the Expendable Trust Fund established by Town Meeting in 2016 states the purpose as “funding extensive repairs or replacement of bridges in the Town of Nelson.” The state only regulates bridges 10 feet or wider. The Town of Nelson has three state-regulated bridges (10 feet in width), three 6-foot bridges, and one 8 foot-bridge (West Shore Road). The fact that this bridge has a culvert does not negate its existence as a bridge. State bridges also contain culverts.
Although our Administrative Assistant, Edie Drinkwater, knew the Department of Revenue had not had a problem with this article, we needed time to find the exact language of the original article. She also contacted the Department of Revenue again on Monday who reiterated this was a perfectly legal use of the funds as written in the original article that established the Fund.
I hope this clarifies any confusion regarding Article 14.
Chair, Nelson Select Board