PARIS — Neither the X-Tra Mile ATV Club nor the couple opposed to ATVs on their road found a resolution at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting as the Board of Selectmen pledged to make their final decision more carefully than past votes.

Selectmen voted to table a request to reconsider allowing ATVs on Parsons Road in order to get advice from a Maine Municipal Association lawyer. At the next meeting, they plan to formulate the question or questions they will ask their counsel on the legality and implications of allowing or banning ATV use on Parsons Road.

Selectman Ted Kurtz said the board, including himself, did not ask all the right questions and get legal opinions when it first granted permission to use Parsons Road last June. “This board owes it to every citizen in this town to bend over backwards to get a legal opinion,” he said.

On Jan. 10, Kurtz was one of two selectmen who voted against rescinding ATV access to Parsons and East Oxford roads.

Selectman Jean Smart, who voted to rescind access in January, said the issue was a bigger one than Parsons Road alone, and that the final decision could affect all residents.

She said quiet and a feeling of safety is a benefit of living in Paris. “We choose to live in a small town because of these amenities that we have,” Smart said. She said quality if life was the main issue selectmen should address.

Kurtz also criticized the board’s 3-2 decision to rescind access, and said he believed the majority of Paris residents don’t mind ATVs. He called the decision a matter of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

He said the Legislature’s law seemed to imply that noise wasn’t a concern. “The law says that ATVs may only be operated on private property. Then it says that, in any event, they may not be operated within 200 feet of a dwelling.” However, he pointed out that the provision allowing ATVs to use public roads is specifically exempt from the 200-foot rule.

About 50 Paris citizens spent the evening on Valentine’s Day at the Paris Town Hall. Most seemed interested in the ATV-use question, including many members of the club and several citizens, including the Hakalas, who opposed ATV use on Parsons Road.

James Hakala said that despite the results of a few spot checks by the Paris Police Department, game wardens and the X-Tra Mile ATV Club, people passing his house broke laws, driving too fast and making the road unsafe. He said that when a pack of ATVs passed, it made his house tremble.

Sally Leighton, an East Oxford Road resident who said she doesn’t ride ATVs but liked to watch them pass, said she was “extremely disappointed” in the board’s decision to rescind access.

Due to expectations of high turnout similar to Monday’s meeting, the next to board meetings will take place at the Paris Fire Station.

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