NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen has agreed to ask voters to permanently close Damon Road as a public way.

The move, which selectmen approved unanimously Thursday night, is being made at the request of the sole resident of the road, the Rev. Robert Sallies. The retired minister spends summers in Norway and winters in South Carolina.

The road is off Route 118 near Little Pennesseewassee Pond, also called Hobbs Pond.

The action will be taken at the Oct. 7 special town meeting, which has been set for 7 p.m. at the municipal building. The meeting will also address a zoning issue for the Gingerbread House on Main Street that must be approved in order to move it this fall.

In August, voters agreed to discontinue winter maintenance of Damon Road for 10 years, at Sallies’ suggestion. Later, he and his wife wrote a letter to the Board of Selectmen, asking that the road be permanently discontinued as a public way.

Sallies said he and his wife, Margie, who own land on both sides of Damon Road, hope to put a gate at the upper end of the road if the request is honored.


“I think it’s a good idea and makes sense for the town,” Selectman Russ Newcomb said of the road closure.

Because the town may be responsible for paying the Sallies compensation under the law, Sallies said, “Be assured that the town of Norway will not suffer financially from this change. “

Town Manager David Holt recommended that the town pursue Sallies’ request because it would allow the town to discontinue the road maintenance for good and not have to pay the landowner compensation. Additionally, he noted that he would prefer to see it gated because it would be safer, particularly when it is not maintained.

The couple is asking for the road closure and a quitclaim deed or permanent right of way over the discontinued road.

Holt said the town of Greenwood had a similar situation last year when it approved discontinuing Cole Road. Damages were waived in that case also.

According to information from attorney Geoffrey Hole of Bernstein Shur in Portland, who acts as Norway’s and Greenwood’s attorney in many cases, Maine law requires municipal officers to give notice of the proposed discontinuance to the abutting property owners and the planning board, and to file the discontinuance order with the town clerk.

“I recommend you give this serious consideration,” Holt said.

Sallies said Central Maine Power Co., FairPoint Communications and Time Warner Cable had plans years ago to switch their poles from Damon to Waterford Road but have yet to do so.

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