CUMBERLAND — The Town Council will hold a public hearing Monday, Aug. 22, on potential changes to Cross Road.
The council will also vote on authorizing tax breaks for senior citizens.
Cross Road, which run southeast off Winn Road, turns at an approximately 90-degree angle to the northeast before ending at U.S. Route 9 (Longwoods Road). With the town reconstructing Cross Road next month, officials are considering easing the angle to provide better site lines for traffic turning the corner.
Doing so, though, would remove about 15 feet of an existing driveway on the inside of the curve, and could also lead to speeding problems in the future; traffic now has to slow in order to make the curve, Town Manager Bill Shane said in an interview Aug. 12.
A septic system and embankment at the turn also make it difficult for motorists to see around the corner, he noted.
The town has three choices: do nothing, which Shane said is most likely, reduce the angle of the corner, or install a stop sign on each of the two roads as they meet in order to slow traffic.
“Leaving it as it is has worked well in the current road condition, which is almost impassable, so people have to slow down,” Shane said, noting that with the road being repaired, additional striping through the intersection might be another option to help prevent vehicles from crossing into the other lane – and potentially into oncoming traffic – as they round the curve.
“We basically have to delineate that curve a little bit more, to get people to slow down,” Shane said, noting that the road is lightly traveled.
Eligible residents who are 62 and older had until Aug. 1 to apply for Cumberland’s new property tax assistance program. Those eligible must have lived in Cumberland for at least a decade, and have a combined household income of no more than $69,000.
Of the nearly 180 homes to apply, almost all should receive some kind of assistance, Shane said, adding that about 70 percent will receive $750.
“We’ll probably be around $110,000, $115,000, in property tax relief for these seniors,” Shane noted.
Checks should go out the end of this month or beginning of September.
Surplus funds from the fiscal 2016 budget are being put toward the tax relief.
“Instead of putting it into the capital program, or to other things, we basically returned it back to the seniors,” he said. “It’ll be a year-by-year look at what we have left (in each budget).”
An image from Google Maps shows how Cross Road (incorrectly marked in part as Range Road) in Cumberland turns at a 90-degree angle before it meets Longwoods Road. The Cumberland Town Council will hold a public hearing Monday, Aug. 22, to assess whether improvements to the turn should be made.