Mystic — Sandy Hollow Road residents say erosion caused by overnight rain further proves that curbing is needed on the newly paved road.
Rain led to a cascade of dirt, gravel and grass seed, in some cases leaving gullies alongside the western portion of Sandy Hollow Road. The Groton Public Works Department arrived early Wednesday with a dump truck, street sweeper, backhoe and a team of workers to repair the damage.
The issue of curbs is a sore one for residents. A petition asking for curbing was presented to the Town Council on Aug. 17, shortly before the paving work was performed but after a public hearing was held on the issue. Residents were notified by mail of the impending paving work but had missed the legal notice about the public meeting, they say.
"It's a waste of taxpayers money not to do the job right," the petition reads.
Residents requested curbing and driveway aprons similar to recent work on Fishtown and Pequot roads.
Being a town-designated scenic road, however, the request for the curbing hit an immediate road block. Under town ordinance, roads designated as scenic cannot be "altered or improved … except for good cause determined by the council after a public hearing." The public hearing held on the paving work never included the curbing.
Groton Town Manager Mark Oefinger said the matter of curbing is pending with the Groton Town Council. He said the erosion likely would not have occurred to the extent it did if the seed had been established, but he did not discount residents' concerns.
He said adding curbing would involve studies on draining issues.
Potters House of Church of God Pastor Bruno Spada, who signed the petition, said he will be forced to file an insurance claim because of damage sustained early Wednesday to the church driveway at 500 Sandy Hollow Road.
Spada said the church entrance and parking lot was sealed two days prior to the rains, and he awoke to find a collection of stones and dirt. The street sweeper, in cleaning up the mess, damaged his driveway, he said.