PERU — Winter snow removal has its hazards, including damage to property within a town’s right of way.

At a selectmen meeting on Monday, the board discussed what to do about a fence on East Shore Road that was damaged during snowplowing last winter. The landowner who had put it up next to his property had asked whether the town would pay the cost of repairing it.

“It’s one of those that’s 2 or 3 feet off the shoulder,” said Road Commissioner Joe Roach. “This has been there a long time.”

Chairman James Pulsifer said the town shouldn’t pay for anything damaged within the town’s right of way during normal snow removal. Selectman Tim Holland concurred.

“When you get as much snow as we’ve gotten the past few years, something’s going to get damaged,” Holland said. “I don’t think the town should be liable for Mother Nature. This is normal plowing for public safety.”

Pulsifer wanted the board to address who would be responsible for damage to items in the town’s right of way, adding that consistency was important. The board and Roach admitted it was tough to make the landowner pay for the damage, but the town needed to adhere to a consistent policy.

The board voted unanimously to have landowners pay for damage caused by normal snow removal to items placed by that property owner in the right of way. Pulsifer noted that this was consistent with past town practices.

Although it was unclear whether a lightning strike or a power surge knocked out the burglar and fire alarm system in the Town Office and former Peru Elementary School building, the selectmen voted to purchase a new $1,600 system from Simplex Grinnell.

New guard rails will soon be going up on Packard and Dickvale Roads. Selectmen voted to accept a proposal from Main Line Fence of Cumberland for $5,380 to put in guardrails for sections of the roads.

Roach said he expected the work to be completed in September.

With SAD 21 dissolved and the Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 taking its place, some money is coming back to Peru in the form of carryover funds. Ordinarily, the money would be rolled into the school district’s surplus, but because SAD 21 no longer exists, selectmen were faced with a decision on what to do with the funds.

The board voted to take back the $22,299 in undesignated money. The funds will be spent on town projects.

In a letter to the town, resident James Bigos requested copies of reports of several incidents with dogs that his family had experienced. He noted that his daughter was attacked by a dog this spring, and there have also been instances of dogs damaging shrubbery around his residence.

The board asked Animal Control Officer Dan Carrier if he had been able to contact the dog owner whose animal had bitten the Bigos’ daughter. Carrier responded that he had been unable to contact the individual whose dog was responsible.

“Until we make contact with the dog owner, there’s nothing I can do for him,” Carrier said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.