Selectmen will also discuss a possible swap shop.

BUCKFIELD – Selectmen plan to search old documents and consult a surveyor to settle a dispute over a supposed town right of way on Jim Warren Road.

Property owners Tim Brackett and Dick Piper attended the board’s Tuesday night meeting to discuss the property line dispute. Their houses are next to each other at the end of the dead-end road.

Brackett said Piper has parked a machine in the town’s right of way, prohibiting him from getting to a portion of his property.

Piper contends the land in front of his barn is his property despite a prior verbal agreement to give the town a right of way for plows and buses to turn around.

Piper complained that the plow banks snow in front of his barn, making access difficult. The machine is the undercarriage of an excavator, he said.

Brackett insisted that a professional survey he commissioned concluded the machine is either in the town lane or on his property.

Piper agreed to seek a survey of his property lines after a meeting with selectmen last April, but it is not done yet, he said.

“We really need to know where the town’s right of way is,” Selectman Skip Stanley said. “They can’t base an argument on anything unless the town knows where its right of way is.”

“That is all I’m asking,” Brackett added. “Whether it favors me or not, just tell me where the line is and I’ll deal with it.”

Brackett said historically the town road ended at Piper’s barn. However, former owners of one of the houses erected mailboxes beyond the barn with permission from the adjacent neighbor, giving the illusion that the property line continued farther down the road, he said.

“He’s determined the line is where I drive out back to access my property,” said Brackett. “If I can’t access the back of my property through this spot I’ll have to cut down 200-year-old trees and make another road.”

Selectmen and Piper planned to meet at his property Wednesday to discuss altering the plow route. Selectmen voted to research records of the Jim Warren Road and consult a surveyor, while waiting for the results of Piper’s survey.

In other business, selectmen voted to advertise for a committee of Buckfield and Sumner residents to investigate the feasibility of establishing a swap shop at the transfer station. The shop would offer used items to residents.

Buckfield selectmen have had concerns about adequate space, liability and manpower. Sumner selectmen recently sent a letter inquiring about the status of a swap shop plan.

“I know people are interested,” said resident Judy Berg. “Even if we just started with a temporary tent by the brush pile, to gauge interest.”

The committee will include five members from both Buckfield and Sumner. Those interested should submit their names at the town office.

Selectmen granted permission to resident Bill Harmon to snare coyote just off the town railroad bed recreational trail in mid-October. Harmon said the offset jaw snares, a more humane way of trapping, do not harm the animal’s leg. The traps are too small to snag a human foot, but dogs are often caught. Users of the railroad bed recreational trail should be aware that the traps will be set primarily on the portion of trail beyond the gate, and will be in the woods just off the trail.

The trapping has been prompted by killings at a local deer farm attributed to coyotes, as well as an exploding coyote population, Harmon said.

Selectmen will meet at 9 p.m. Aug. 12 to discuss reconfiguring town office duties for efficiency and see a presentation of the new highway garage design from the engineer.


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