MINOT – Jackson Hill Road will be closed to all through traffic on weekdays starting Monday, June 28, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.

Road Manager Arlan Saunders told selectmen this week that traffic bound for Auburn will be detoured down Center Minot Hill Road to Perkins Ridge Road and then back onto Young’s Corner Road.

The detour will add about a mile to the popular commuter route, which connects the West Minot/Norway-South Paris region with Auburn’s mall and retail area off Center Street.

The Maine Department of Transportation has begun rebuilding the curve at the top of Jackson Hill Road, a dangerous section that has claimed more than one life. Starting Monday, a town crew will begin a major overhaul of the remainder, to the Auburn town line.

Saunders thinks the detour will be in effect for at least six weeks.

Saunders said that once the project is complete, the state will sign an agreement to take over summer maintenance for the entire length of Jackson Hill Road and Center Minot Hill Road from Jackson to Route 119. Summer maintenance includes roadside mowing, ditching, striping, paving and patching. The town will still be responsible for winter plowing.

Saunders also said he expects Blue Rock Industries to pave Verrill Road, Goodwin Road and Grange Avenue next week.

Selectmen met with Marston Hill Road property owners Norman and Louann Gauthier to discuss Saunders’ rejection of one of their two driveway permit applications.

The Gauthiers, who own a sizable parcel along Marston Hill Road, said they want to build two houses with a driveway for each.

Saunders said he had no problems with one of the driveways, but that the second had only slightly more than 300 feet of sight distance and needed 450 feet.

Selectman George “Buster” Downing noted that precedent had been set when another property owner not far down the rolling, curving road encountered similar sight distance problems and had been refused a driveway permit. He suggested the Gauthiers consider a shared driveway for the two houses.

Selectmen agreed to visit the site at 6 p.m. June 27.

Selectmen also met with Brian Allen and George and Mary Buker to review whether Old Buckfield Road is abandoned or remains an official town road.

Chairman Dean Campbell said the town’s lawyers have all the documents about the issue that the board could find. He said a public hearing on the road status will be held.

Fire Chief Steve French told the board that he received notice from the Public Utilities Commission that new legislation has been passed that could affect how Minot’s 911 calls are handled.

He said the legislation reduces the number of call centers statewide, which in the Androscoggin County region means there will be one instead of three. The three are the Androscoggin County sheriff’s office in Auburn, the Lewiston/Auburn 911 Center in Auburn, and Lisbon Police Department. Minot recently contracted with the sheriff’s office to handle calls and to perform dispatching.

In other business, selectmen voted to replace two streetlights in the Minot Corner area with one Mongoose high pressure sodium 250-watt fixture.

The board authorized a mailing to all town residents seeking their views on the future recreational development of recently acquired town land, and informing them of the status of the town’s negotiations with Adelphia over the cable contract.

The board’s next meeting will be July 6.


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