Allenstown residents ask town to take responsibility for 'patchwork' paving job
ALLENSTOWN — People who live along Cross Street are asking town officials to take responsibility for property damage that they say is a direct result of a paving job completed nearly three years ago.
Tom O'Donnell said his property flooded nine times since Cross Street was repaved in 2014, damaging his yard, fence, porch, shed and driveway.
The town road agent has visited the properties several times, making repairs O'Donnell likens to "patchwork" and "quick fixes."
"It’s ridiculous. It’s a crappy way to do work and it shouldn’t be," he said. "When are you going to fix it right? When are you going to come in, do a survey and fix it right?"
After more than two years of regularly having flooding issues, the town installed a berm in front of two houses: O'Donnell's and his neighbor's.
Together, they've brought their concerns to the attention of the Allenstown Board of Selectman and Town Administrator Shaun Mulholland, twice.
Mulholland said after those hearings, the board took the position that the residents failed to prove property damage directly resulted from the work, particularly the installation of the berm.
Since the paving job was completed more than six months ago, state law says the residents can't contest it or claim damages from it.
O'Donnell's neighbor — who asked to not be identified because he works in the public sector — worries the town is avoiding taking responsibility so they don't have to pay to repair it.
"It has to come down to funding," he said. "They don't want to be the people to say they messed up so they don't have to pay for it and don't upset taxpayers."
Though the neighbor's property hasn't been damaged to the extent of O'Donnell's, he has serious concerns about the part of the berm along his property.
He said it was incredibly slippery during the winter and is worried about it becoming sticky once warmer weather comes. A large portion of the berm also isn't blended to the road with an apron, leading a 4-inch drop-off in front of his home.
One of his young children also fell on a section of the berm. He said while the town added asphalt to the berm to make it less steep, it's still a hazard for his family.
Meanwhile, O'Donnell estimates fixing the damage to his property would cost upward of $20,000. Money he doesn't have.
Mulholland said O'Donnell has not filed a petition about the specific damage to his property, and by state law, he's running out of time to do so.
Though the berm has stopped the flooding so far, O'Donnell doesn't think it's a permanent solution.
"It’s just … it’s ridiculous. And you know, my taxes keep going up and up, but the way they fix things, it doesn’t last," he said. "This doesn’t even last a week before it started flaking."
O'Donnell and his neighbor are asking the town to take a closer look at the work and take responsibility for the problems they've experienced
"They’re not coming to fix what they broke," he said. "They flooded me out and there’s a lot of repairs that need to be done, and they’re saying sorry, no, but I’d like to get them fixed."