CHINA — Planning Board members quickly and unanimously approved a revised plan for a new road to China Primary School.

Approval at Tuesday’s meeting was welcome, since work has already started on the road, Elwood Ellis said.

Ellis, a surveyor and one of China’s two representatives on the Regional School Unit 18 board, has spearheaded the effort to improve access to the primary school, which is off Lakeview Drive behind China Middle School and is served by a narrow road along the south side of the property.

The new road runs along the north side from the middle school north parking lot to the primary school grounds. It will be chained most of the time, barring vehicles except in emergencies and for maintenance.

Planning Board members approved initially approved a design in November that included a retaining wall up to 6 feet high. Ellis and the two contractors who bid on the project found the wall was expensive and they considered it unsafe near a playground.

The three men developed a revised plan that moved the road north about 25 feet. The new plan eliminated the wall, reducing the cost by about $30,000, Ellis said.

The two contractors bid again on the new plan and selectmen awarded the contract to Robin Tobey, of China. The school department will reimburse the town for building the road, using state funding and the town will be responsible for plowing and routine maintenance.

In other business Tuesday evening, Planning Board members talked again about proposed June town ballot items: an amended ordinance section on home occupations and the shoreland septic system compliance program.

Selectmen have agreed to put on the ballot a question, presented by petition, asking if voters want to repeal the septic system program.

The program requires property owners with septic systems in the 250-foot shoreland zone either to prove their systems meet current standards or to have them inspected by the end of 2014 and every four years after that.

Planning Board members intend to draft a revised ordinance that they hope will answer key objections to the current rules while still protecting lake water quality.

They discussed two main problems people have with the existing program.

Some people want the frequency of inspections changed — either less frequent, or at variable intervals depending on the condition of the system. Others believe the program should apply to all septic systems in lake watersheds, not just to those within 250 feet of the water.

Board Chairman Roland Breton intends to devote most or all of the board’s Jan. 10 and Jan. 24 meetings to work on the revised septic system standards.

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