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Resients Divided on Renaming Redskin Trail

by Connie Sartini
Town Manager Mark Haddad advised the Select Board at their July 13 virtual meeting that a resident of Redskin Trail has notified the town of his concern with the name of his street. He considers it racist and would like the Select Board to take action to rename the street.
     Subsequent to that request, Haddad said that several residents of Redskin Trail reported that this proposal “came as a total surprise to them and they were not happy.”
     This is not the first time that a name change was proposed for Redskin Trail. Close to six years ago, there was discussion of changing the name of that street to Harmony Lane but residents of the Trail at that time were opposed to any change.
     Haddad advised that the resident who proposed the change wants the town to pay for all costs and he does not want to be the lead person. Haddad added, “The residents of the road are divided.”
     Select Board member John Giger asked for a list of exactly what the town would pay for should this move forward.
Haddad cited costs such as recording fees at the Registry of Deeds for changing the name on the deeds, updating the GIS maps, updating the maps at the Fire and Police departments, and the cost of new road signs, among other expenses.
     Selectman Josh Degen said, “There is no question that Redskin Trail is not good.” He added that in two weeks a diversity task force will be forming, and if there is a proposed name change, this group could look at this and “all the streets in town including Indian Hill Road, Indian Hill Music, and Indian Road.”
     Select Board Chairman Alison Manugian advised that if the Board received a petition for a name change for Redskin Trail, “then we could consider it.”
     There is a procedure set forth in Section 258-9 of the Code of the Town of Groton should the Select Board decide to consider this. Haddad added, “The resident who brought this to my attention would rather have the Select Board take the action.”
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