MINOT — Selectmen want to know what is behind rumors that the Maine Department of Transportation is in the process of shifting all responsibilities for year-round maintenance of certain roads to municipalities.

To that end, selectmen Monday night directed Town Administrator Arlan Saunders to attend the meeting in Augusta on Oct. 15 between the MDOT and town officials.

Selectmen were spurred to action after reading Maine Municipal Association’s Kate Dufor’s Oct. 2 memo, in which she reports on her meeting with MDOT Deputy Commissioner Bruce Van on Sept. 29. According to the memo, the MDOT insists the state does not have a predesigned plan to shift all maintenance responsibilities on current state-aid roads back to the towns. The MDOT is discussing reclassifying all of Maine’s roads under the federal classification system and has discussed the possibility of the state being responsible for major collector roads and municipalities being responsible for minor collector roads.

Selectmen noted that this could mean that the MDOT would shift full maintenance of the Center Minot Hill-Jackson Hill Road corridor to the town.

“That fits the trend we are seeing from Augusta, shift more and more onto the towns,” Saunders said.

According to the memo, MDOT wants to make it clear it “would not implement such a plan without discussing details with the municipal community, and would not under any circumstance move forward with a plan that would be implemented overnight and shift poorly constructed state aid roads to municipalities.”

In other business, selectmen approved using the portion of the development impact fees the town has collected to pay for dugouts being built at the new softball and baseball fields.

Selectmen also approved the recreation committee’s request to secure bids for removing stumps from the remaining 3,000 feet of the walking trail system, provided there are sufficient funds. The trails were cut two years ago and the committee would like to have the stumps removed this fall.

To comply with the minimum wage increase, selectmen approved raising the pay for election clerks from $7.25 to $7.50 per hour.

Saunders reported that R.C. & Sons is scheduled to pave Fortin Drive later this week, weather permitting, and will pave about 1,300 feet of Jackass Annie Road for the town while in the neighborhood.


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