HARTFORD — The man who erected a barricade on his property and won’t allow a Regional School Unit 10 bus to turn around in his driveway said he’s doing so because of a court order.

The property on Camp Road, off Route 140, is owned by Paul Bernier.

The issue was brought up most recently at the Sept. 17 selectmen meeting, board Chairwoman Lee Holman said.

Bernier put up a homemade barricade consisting of cones, wooden posts and rope and originally did so because of broken glass and nails, he said Monday. 

The barricade went up Aug. 31, after the court issued a no-contact order that includes his niece, her husband and their children, he said.

“The bottom line is they put the kids on a harassment order, which keeps them from going on my property or having any interaction whatsoever and that means they can’t be down there,” Bernier said. He didn’t want to take a chance the children were on the bus since they live down the road from him, he said.

Town officials are concerned because not only does the school bus use Bernier’s property as a turnaround, but so do emergency vehicles and plows. A smaller turnaround, also on Bernier’s property, is being used.

“I told them with the plowing I wouldn’t have a problem with them if they still want to go in there and turn around,” Bernier said, noting the same applies for emergency vehicles. “The town has an official turnaround that they built. They only started turning around in my yard for convenience. . . . They just like mine because it’s like a big parking lot-type thing.”

At the recent selectmen meeting, Holman said, some of Bernier’s neighbors shared their concerns about access to Campbell Road, which connects to Camp Road. The barriers do not hinder access to the road.

Selectmen are also eyeing the garage Bernier built that is in the middle of the road. Holman said she was aware he was given a permit to erect it at some point and the road does lead to a couple of camps.

“He was allowed to build a little cul-de-sac and a jug handle that goes around the garage on his own property,” Holman said.

“We are, as of yet, a little unclear about the status of the road,” she said. She has contacted the Maine Municipal Association to do some research on the situation. “Meanwhile, the barricade remains,” she said.

Bernier said town officials were welcome to come to his property to go over deeds and other legal documents. He said his lawyer told him he shouldn’t let the town use the smaller turnaround, but he’s letting that go for the time being. In the past, there’s been a contract for use of his driveway as a turnaround, he said.

“I could shut it off completely because we don’t have a contract. I am taking a chance with a bus on my property without a contract,” Bernier said. “I think the town should look into putting in their own school bus turnaround down there and leave me alone. . . .The last thing I want is problems.”

Holman said the town is sending Bernier a letter about the situation and prefers not to go the legal route.

“I would like to forge an agreement. I would like to do this . . . without lawyers,” she said. “That cul-de-sac is going to have to be maintained for the sake of emergency vehicles and so forth. (We) gotta have some place for people to turn around.”

She said she believes the issue will be addressed at the selectmen meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Town Office, 1196 Main St.

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