A neighborhood dispute in Sabattus expands to include road maintenance.

SABATTUS – Cars are shaking, rattling and rolling down F. Sanborn Road.

The condition of the road brought resident David Dalphonse to the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night. He worried that the poor condition would make it nearly impossible for emergency vehicles to travel on the road, and he asked selectmen for help in maintaining it.

But the road is a private one. So selectmen pointed Dalphonse in the direction of Anthony Crowley, the road’s owner.

“It’s Mr. Crowley’s responsibility to maintain the road,” said William Luce, chairman of the selectmen.

But Dalphonse and Crowley are not on speaking terms, because Dalphonse is suing Crowley, along with St. Laurent & Son, over whether the contractor has been digging on Dalphonse’s property. The alleged illegal digging began with Crowley, Dalphonse said, adding that prior to St. Laurent, Crowley owned the sand pit near Dalphonse’s house.

The road has gotten progressively worse since last fall, Dalphonse said. Usually in the spring it gets filled in with gravel and raked over, he said, but that did not happen this spring.

Dalphonse claimed Crowley stopped maintaining the road because of Dalphonse’s activities as a Sabattus Hill Hugger. He said he views Crowley’s actions as a tactic to break up the Hill Huggers, many of whom neighbor Dalphonse. The local citizens’ group, formed to focus on groundwater protection issues, has targeted the St. Laurent sand pit.

Crowley could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday.

Fire Chief Robert Scott said he inspected the road and saw at least one pothole measuring a foot deep. He thought one of his firetrucks could get down the road if it had to, but said it wouldn’t be good for the truck.

Selectmen said they did not want to set a precedent of maintaining private roads. Road Commissioner Dennis Atwood suggested Dalphonse look into setting up a road association. Dalphonse said he was in the process of doing that.

“It should be maintained, especially for emergency vehicles,” he said.

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