MINOT – Selectmen say they will support an agreement to keep a buffer of trees next to the proposed Grand Trunk Road in West Minot if the town is allowed to adequately maintain the road.

Last September, the Planning Board approved Lloyd Poland’s plans to develop the old railroad bed into Grand Trunk Road to access his 13-lot Village Wood Estates subdivision.

Regina Ketcheson of Carriage Road, whose property abuts the railroad bed right of way, challenged that decision, but has agreed to drop it if Poland deeds her a 26-foot wide buffer strip of trees, Poland’s attorney, David Dow, said.

Under a proposed agreement, Ketcheson would own property to within a few feet of the new road’s guardrail, which means town plows would push snow onto her property.

Selectmen insisted the town must have an easement for plowing and advised Poland that his proposed amendments to his road and subdivision plan must be approved by the Planning Board.

Selectmen also met Monday with Androscoggin County Sheriff Guy Desjardins to review 2008 calls to the sheriff’s office and crime statistics for Minot.

Road Manager Arlan Saunders told selectmen a $59,476 check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for December storm damages is “pretty near in the mail.” He said the check should soften the effect of the near $100,000 overdraft in the winter roads account for the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. He noted that if the $59,000 is applied to this year’s winter roads account, the $175,000 being asked for at the March town meeting could be reduced.

Town Administrator Rhonda Irish reported that the Maine Trails Advisory Committee has recommended the town receive up to $27,840 from the recreational trails program and said she expects the money could be available in March.

Selectman Steve French reported that the committee dealing with county dispatch services is “getting closer, but is still miles apart,” on the question of having a single emergency dispatch to serve all 14 county towns.

The chief stumbling block, according to French, is the huge disparity of the needs, wants and expectations of Lewiston and Auburn as opposed to those of the 12 smaller county towns.

“It’s kind of like comparing the needs of Donald Trump and Harry the Hobo,” said Selectman Dean Campbell.

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