DEP planning workshop for private road owners

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FARMINGTON — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection, with the help of the local Soil and Water Conservation District, will offer a workshop to introduce the “Guide to Forming Road Associations.” To determine the workshop locations, the DEP is asking interested residents of private roads to contact Sue Miles at 764-0477 or sue.miles@Maine.gov and provide basic information.

Most private gravel roads need repair every spring. Owners or users need to bring in loads of gravel to replace what washed away over the winter and during spring rains. The gravel then washes out of the ditches, straight to the nearest brook, stream and lake.

According to Wendy Garland with DEP, “Year after year MDEP assists local associations with watershed surveys documenting pollution sites in lake watersheds, and year after year the biggest, most common problems are related to roads. If we are going to improve or protect the water quality of our lakes, we need to address erosion issues from our roads.”

Some of the most challenging roads to fix are those that are privately owned with or without a road association. “The ones without a road association can be particularly problematic as they don’t have a formal organization to help raise funds to get the needed work done,” said Kristin Feindel, also of the DEP. This is where the “Guide to Forming Road Associations” can help.

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While both Garland and Feindel say it is not hard to form a road association, they admit it takes time and commitment. 

Garland said that they will look to hold the workshops where there is strong interest and schedule the workshops to maximize the number of roads they can assist. DEP will compile a list of interested roads up until June 18, and will schedule the workshops for July and August.

The guide and appendices can be found by clicking on the link to “Camp Roads” at www.MaineDEP.com.

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