Roundabout opponents meet (4/30/09)

April 30, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Citizens concerned with a proposed roundabout in Williston Village turned out in force Tuesday night to air concerns and propose questions they want answered.

Approximately 100 people talked and listened during a neighborhood meeting in the basement of the Williston Federated Church. The church is built at the northeast corner of the four-way intersection of U.S. 2, North Williston Road and Oak Hill Road where the roundabout would be built.

With the meeting moderated by Ken Stone and Keith Gaylord, the group devised a list of topics and questions that needed further discussion. Items on the list included concerns over historic aesthetics, cost of the project and safety issues. Impact on neighboring properties, such as the church and the Korner Kwik Stop, was also discussed.

Stone said the purpose of the meeting was to gather information and hear all sides of the issue.

“We’re not here to take a specific decision,” Stone said.

While a few people spoke in support, there was an overwhelmingly negative response to the roundabout.

“I’m concerned as to whether this even belongs in Williston,” said resident Bill White. “I think this would destroy the whole ambiance of Williston.”

Another issue raised questions about what would happen with a roundabout if the Circumferential Highway is ever built.

“If you did (build the roundabout) and put the Circ Highway in one, two years from now, it makes this thing obsolete,” resident Bob Marcotte said.

Other residents appeared concerned the roundabout would be built no matter what citizens said in opposition.

A meeting with the Selectboard and project engineers is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 11 at Williston Central School, where Stone hoped the topics discussed this week would be given more discussion and answers.