CLARKSBURG -- Addressing the town's infrastructure needs is one of the first things Thomas Webb hopes to tackle as the new town administrator.
Webb, who began his duties full-time in June, said his highest priorities are getting the East Road bridge replaced, and then the Gates Avenue culvert repaired.
"We have a bridge that is out and a culvert that is falling apart. Those are the big things this year," he said recently.
The bid opening for the East Road bridge replacement is Aug. 8, and he expects there will be enough money left over in the town's Chapter 90 highway funds to cover repairs to the Gates Avenue culvert, he said.
"The money we get from Chapter 90 annually isn't a huge amount. What we have has been accumulated over a few years," he said.
Webb said the town's road could also use some attention, but he isn't sure yet, from a financial standpoint, how that will happen. The town will apply for a Small Town Rural Assistance Program (STRAP) grant again this year, and hopefully, he said, it will get it.
"I don't see Clarksburg as being in a different situation from any other community right now. Everyone is trying to maintain what they have and not overburden people with higher taxes," he said.
For the past four years, Webb, 60, has been the town administrator for Cheshire. Prior to that, he worked in the housing industry for 19 years, and then became town administrator of Chester for about a year.
"I have a lot of experience in upper level management and executive positions. I also have a background in human resources, which is always helpful for the operations of a small community. There often isn't money available to hire someone to take on a designated human resources position," he said.
While it was primarily the hours that made him interested in applying for the Clarksburg town administrator position, which is full-time, he also liked the community, he said.
Webb grew up in Cheshire, attended St. Joseph's High School in North Adams, and now lives in Williamstown. He became familiar with Clarksburg during his work with the senior center project and the beginning of the senior housing project.
The housing project, which has been unable to move forward due to lack of funding, is something Webb would like to see happen.
"It's something we'll keep looking at and hope that over the next number of years, we'll be able to move forward with," he said.
Outside of his town administrator duties, Webb said he stays busy. He has been a real estate broker and lead paint inspector, and has done a fair amount of divorce mediation, he said.
"I stay busy enough that I don't get to ride my motorcycle as much as I'd like to." he said.
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