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More in News
Gate requested to prevent theft, vandalism
NORWAY — The decision to relocate a gate, owned by two Norway residents at the end of Buck Road, was tabled by selectmen at their December 20 meeting.
Christopher Cooper and Walter Suomela are the two remaining landowners with abutting (farmland and woodland) properties at the end of Buck Road, according to a letter they sent to the town on December 11.
The two wish to construct a new gate – "a durable and strong swing gate 200 feet west of the present gate," at no expense to the town.
That 200-foot section of Buck Road is currently owned by the town, said Town Manager David Holt.
The reason for the request, they wrote, "stems from the resulting theft and vandalism that our properties (house, orchard, barn, road, lawn, and field) ... have been subject to from the lack of a gate preventing access by anyone and everyone over our private properties."
"I talked to the assessor and she believes that is not a public easement through there; it's privately owned by the landowners," Holt told selectmen.
Cooper and Suomela also requested to place a sign at the beginning of Buck Road near Shedd Road that reads "Dead End - No Turn Around."
Holt said he thinks that area in particular needs a turnaround to prevent vehicles from getting stuck at the end of the road.
"If not, the cars will drive up there, and if they attempt to back out, it would be unwise. In the spring ... the shoulders [of the road] can get pretty soft. I think there should be some sort of turnaround," Holt said.
"And they're pretty steep," Chairman Russ Newcomb said of the shoulders. He said the town, over the years, has spent a considerable amount of FEMA funds on mitigation projects and other repairs on Buck Road.
According to Cooper and Suomela, during winter, depending on weather conditions, the road could be opened to snowmobilers only.
"The thought occurs to me that it would be the board's option to approach these two gentlemen to see if they're interested in having the town discontinue the road to [their properties]," Holt said.
"Then the problem would be solved from the town's point of view," Holt said.
"There are a couple old farm buildings ... there that get vandalized," Newcomb said. They are hoping that folks couldn't go in there. Right now, they [drivers] turn around on the lawn," he added.
"Who's liable if they hit the gate and get hurt?" Selectwoman Irene Millett asked. "We don't want to end up having to maintain the gate," she said.
"I am not comfortable with agreeing to having them put a gate on the town-maintained road."
In their letter to the town, Cooper and Suomela said keys to the gate would be given to the town, if the town agreed to relocating it.
"We believe relocating the gate is highly justifiable and practical to prevent further theft and vandalism to our properties, will have minimal impact on the town with probable less road maintenance and cost to the town over time," they wrote.
Selectmen tabled the issue pending further discussion. Holt will speak with the two landowners to see if they'd be interested in discontinuing the road.
In other news, the board:
• Reported that a public hearing will be held January 3 at 7 p.m. on the application from Norway Trackers for an outdoor festival permit for the annual Sno-Fest scheduled for January 26.
• Approved a liquor license for Simply Eats Family Dining.
• Praised the work done by Highway Department employees last fall to replace the boat ramp at Penneseewassee Lake.
• Signed a poverty tax abatement for $22.34 for the owner of 34 Lake Road.
• Signed a sewer abatement for Clara Thompson in the amount of $2,437.41 for a frozen pipe that burst and ran onto her property.