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The Notorious Timothy Hill Road

Controversy swirled around it during debate over road funds, but Timothy Hill may be a vital cog in keeping rigs out of residential neighborhoods.

First Selectman Steve Vavrek's black Crown Victoria cruised down Fan Hill Road on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, drawing ever closer to the controversial little street.

A small boulder stood by the entrance of a road up ahead. In all caps, a concrete sign to the right read: "Road Closed; No Trespassing; Violators will be Prosecuted."

Vegetation covered part of the sign and grass poked through cracks in the pavement.

"Here it is," Vavrek said, flipping on his left blinker. "Timothy Hill Road. There's no street sign."

This beat up road was the topic of heated debate at a July 26 Town Meeting to vote on bonding for $2.2 million worth of road improvement funds.

Timothy Hill Road was included on a list of roads slated to be worked on.

Several residents demanded to know why, after finally getting funds to fix Monroe's crumbling roadways, Public Works Director Arthur Baker would even consider spending a dime on such a tiny street.

A plan by developer John Kimball to extend a road from his office park on Pepper Street and connect it to Timothy Hill sparked insinuations of preferential treatment.

What's more, one Fan Hill Road resident said, "Timothy Hill is the last road we should consider. That road is used for parties, four-wheelers, drinking and sex."

However, this small street is tied to some possible benefits: Getting commercial trucks out of residential neighborhoods and allowing the town to extend a waterline down Fan Hill Road.

In the Patch article "No Hydrant? Firefighters Will Find Water" Stepney Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Klemish said the latter would equate to more fire hydrants in that part of town.

Re-routing rigs

Vavrek's Crown Victoria rolled along Timothy Hill Road until the paved portion gave way to dirt and rocks.

Rumbling along the bad patch of road, the first selectman explained that it had been torn up years ago.

Baker said this was due to a drainage issue.

After about 200 feet the car's tires caught pavement again.

The road leads to a dead end. A deer leaped into the woods as the Ford came closer.

Through the trees is Independence Drive, the road in the office park Kimball wants to extend.

Kimball said trucks currently are driving from Pepper Street to Garder Road, a residential street, before turning onto Fan Hill Road.

If Independence Drive can be extended and connected to a paved Timothy Hill Road, he said truck traffic could travel a more direct route to the office park from Fan Hill to Timothy Hill.

"It should take trucks out of the residential neighborhoods and into the commercial district," Kimball said during an interview in his Pepper Street office.

Vavrek said some trucks are avoiding Garder because it's a dirt road, instead opting for Jockey Hollow, another residential road.

Kimball said he would pay $1.6 million to extend his road should the Planning & Zoning Commission approve a project on his site, and that the town would only pay to fix Timothy Hill Road, which Monroe owns.

"We didn't ask for the money," he said. "The town saved money the last six years by not fixing that road. It's a fairness issue."

"People might not know or understand what Timothy Hill is now," Vavrek said. "But if this development happens, it will be a vital thing for Monroe."

"Nobody understood why it's on the plan," Baker said Tuesday. "If the road's built and it's connected, there will be a need to improve it."

If that does not happen, the public works director said repairing Timothy Hill Road will not be a priority.

Looking back on the overall poor shape of the town's roads and the seeming insignificance of Timothy Hill, Baker said, "I understand why people were up in arms."

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