NORWAY – The Board of Selectmen was told last week that at least one abutter objects to discontinuing Buck Road.
In early January, the board received a request from Buck Road property owners Christopher Cooper and Walter Suomela to let them move their gate 200 feet up the road from their property at the end of the road. They say there is ongoing vandalism and theft in and around the vacant farmhouse and barn by the Cooper apple orchards.
Because it is a public road, the board cannot make the road inaccessible to the public unless they have a public hearing, agree to discontinue the road and pay damages to abutting property owners, unless the abutting land owners agree to waive the fees.
Robert Benson of Barrington R.I. objected to discontinuing the road, which is off Shedd Road. He owns a cabin and land which fronts on Buck and Shedd roads.
Although Benson said he feels bad that the owners are having problems, he told the Sun Journal in a phone conversation that the road should not be blocked off.
“Who wants to see a town road blocked off?” he asked.
Benson said people can freely drive up the dirt road to look at the deer and the apple orchard or ride horses down it.
He also noted that a locked gate can not be accessed by everyone who would have authority to go down the road.
Additionally, Benson said if the road remained public, the abutting land might someday support houses that would bring in additional taxes to the town.
“People will build houses. Why would someone want to block it off?” he asked.
Benson said he hopes to retire to the property in several years.
The board took no action, but Holt said, “I’d be in favor of discontinuing the road but the cost to pay off the abutter could be significant.”