NEWRY — Town meeting voters approved spending $300,000 to reconstruct and pave a section of Sunday River Road in the Letter S area this summer.

They also voted that they are interested in having the town take out a $1 million bond to pay for another lengthy reconstruction and paving project on Sunday River Road, but defeated two proposed new ordinances that involve road entrances and parking.

By a show of placards, voters agreed to raise and appropriate $150,000 from taxation and take $150,000 from the Capital Improvement account to reconstruct, reclaim and repave 1,200 feet of Sunday River Road to include the Letter S hill and a section of road before it.

The Letter S project calls for reconstructing a stretch of the Sunday River Road between Nordic Knoll subdivision and the Letter S swimming hole. Project engineer Joe Aloisio is proposing an 18-foot-wide travel way with unpaved, 2-foot-wide shoulders. The plan at the Letter S area is to widen the pavement on the right side by 8 feet for about 200 feet for parking on that side of the road.

At Wednesday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Code Enforcement Officer Dave Bonney told the board he hoped that Aloisio is working on a bid invitation and contract with which to solicit bids from contractors.

On Tuesday night, Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Wendy Hanscom told town meeting voters that because Newry is doing the Sunday River Road and Letter S hill project this summer, they likely would take out a less than $1 million bond next year to pave and improve the other end of Sunday River Road, from the Monkey Brook intersection to the end of the pavement.


Engineer and resident Jim Sysko asked the board where the $1 million figure came from. Bonney said it was an estimate provided by a paving contractor.

After approving proposed housekeeping changes to the fire suppression ordinance and adopting changes to the Planning Board ordinance, several voters voiced their discontent with the proposed road entrance and parking ordinances.

The Road Entrance ordinance would have established entrance standards for temporary and permanent roads and driveways entering onto Newry rights of   way.

The parking document was created from ordinances in other towns for parking enforcement near hiking trail entrances on Route 26 at Step Falls and areas along Sunday River Road. Without an ordinance, Newry can’t enforce parking.

Resident Norman Clanton objected to the road entrance law, saying it needs to be reworked because it could force him to remove his newspaper delivery tube at the end of  his driveway.

“It doesn’t exclude newspaper delivery tubes and free-speech signs,” Clanton said.


Selectman Hanscom clarified the ordinance. “It’s intent is for people opening up an entrance on a town road, not to enforce temporary signs or newspaper boxes.”

Bonney said it pertained more to stonewalls that people like to line their driveways with rather than temporary signs or mailboxes or newspaper boxes.

Clanton said the proposed ordinance doesn’t specifically delineate that newspaper delivery tubes are excluded like it does mailboxes. Reading from the ordinance standards, he said, “There shall not be any post, wall, abutment, sign or object within the town rights of way. This does not include a postal service mailbox.”

Clanton said he would still vote against it and urged other residents to do the same and a majority did, defeating the article.

Regarding the parking law, Hanscom set the tone when she said it’s not enforceable and that she would not have violators’ vehicles towed.

“I’ve been told by state and county police that they will not enforce this, so I’m not going to vote for it,” she said.

When asked why the town couldn’t just erect “No Parking” signs, Bonney said the town must have a parking ordinance to do that. Hanscom reiterated her stance and voters followed suit, defeating the article.

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