CHESTERVILLE — Selectmen last week approved placing an article on the March 12 town meeting warrant asking voters to discontinue a section of Webber Road.
Selectmen will also seek an easement with Arnold Couture to build a new turnaround.
At issue is a gate erected by property owner Chris Osgood that must be opened for plow drivers to access the current turnaround. Osgood obtained permission for the gate from a previous board after he complained about people littering and defecating on his property.
Osgood said he never got an answer regarding where the road ends. Once part of George Thomas Road, Webber Road was created after a mudslide in 2010 led to the creation of a new road entrance onto Route 41.
Federal Emergency Management Agency funds were used to build the new road.
“My problem is we’re plowing and sanding beyond a gate that’s on a town road,” Selectman Chairman Tyler Jenness said.
The highway department has a key to the gate. To reach the turnaround, the plow driver has to unlock and open the gate when Osgood, whose job takes him out of town frequently, is not there.
Selectman Edward Hastings IV said the gate is pushing Osgood’s problem onto another property. No one resides there now, but complaints could arise if that changes, he said.
“The road was never discontinued. It will cost the town money for a new turnaround,” Hastings said. “We’re paying for that road to the end. We can’t stop people from going down it.”
Resident Kim Lessard said, “What about installing a camera and getting the sheriff’s department involved.”
Selectman Vice Chairman Tiffany Estabrook suggested putting a street light up.
“This board is sympathetic, but we can’t make a town road inaccessible,” Estabrook said. “It is no different than someone throwing beer cans onto my yard. It becomes a civil issue, not the town’s.”
“We’re dealing with past selectmens’ stuff,” Jenness said. “They shouldn’t have let it happen.”
Osgood said: “I didn’t know they didn’t have authority. I tried to do it right.”
He does not support moving the gate to allow access to the turnaround.
“FEMA money was spent,” Hastings said. “They have said we can do whatever we want. We should discontinue that section of road to motor vehicle traffic. Until the residents vote to do that, we still need to plow.”
The selectmen asked road foreman Mike Cote to determine the GPS coordinates for where the road will be discontinued. That information is needed for the article that will appear on the town meeting warrant. The town meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 12, at 7 p.m.
The board will also contact neighbor Arnold Couture regarding an easement for a new turnaround on his property.
Selectmen last week approved asking residents to consider discontinuing a section of the Webber Road. (Google Maps screenshot)
A prior Chesterville board of selectmen had approved placing a gate across the Webber Road in an effort to stop littering on the property of Chris Osgood. The current board will ask voters to approve discontinuing the road to eliminate having a gated town road. The gate is seen in the upper left. (Google Maps screenshot)
Current Chesterville selectmen will ask voters to approve discontinuing a portion of the Webber Road at the March 12 town meeting. This gate, seen open, was put up with the approval of a prior board in an effort to limit littering on Chris Osgood’s property beyond the gate. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)