Praise, concern over lamp posts in Chepachet

Residents say the newly-paved Putnam Pike in Chepachet looks great.

It has storm drains and the stained cement sidewalk is framed with old-time gas lamp fixtures that double as street lights.

It was a multimillion-dollar Department of Transportation project that was decades in the making.

"The whole town looks great. We have sidewalks. We're on the 21st century," said Mary Ann Patry of Chepachet.

But the Glocester Town Council got an earful from residents saying the lamp posts are too close to the curb.

"I have residents who are very concerned about the expense," said Jean Fecteau, Glocester town clerk.

Councilman George Steere said the lamp posts were placed where they were because of the aesthetic looks.

"The conduit was there. That's where they had to go. But I learned from the construction crew (Friday) morning, they put the conduit in so I think it could have been placed on the outside of the sidewalk," Steere said.

Glocester taxpayers will be responsible once the town takes possession. That hasn't happened yet. But two of the 31 lamp posts have been side-swiped by passing vehicles.

"State trucks that have the bigger plows, they'd hit them, and that can create a problem. And if somebody gets creative, a car could slide and hit them real easy too," said Peter Burlingame, a Glocester snow plow operator.

Each lamp post costs $1,000.

"I can't see our taxpayers bearing that burden," Fecteau said.

Calls placed to the Department of Transportation were not returned.