DIXFIELD — Town Manager Carlo Puiia told selectmen Monday night that he was advised the town can legally do spring cleanup on private roads if every homeowner on the road grants permission.

The issue was raised at the board’s previous meeting, prompting Puiia to ask the Maine Municipal Association for clarification.

“The town money isn’t being used for improvements to the road, or keeping it open primarily for the benefit of residents and their guests,” an MMA lawyer wrote in an email. “(Ensuring) the proper disposal of discarded items and public waste has a public safety and welfare benefit that I think would provide a constitutional rationale for such a minuscule expenditure.”

Puiia said the lawyer advised that town vehicles not to pick up any trash or discarded items unless town officials received written permission from each landowner and written release of liability in case a town vehicle caused damage to the landowner’s property.

“Permission and release must be obtained by every homeowner on the road, not just a few interested in having their trash picked up,” the lawyer wrote.

Puiia said the lawyer provided an alternative if landowners don’t give permission.

“Landowners who live on private roads can meet the town vehicle at the end of the road with their trash once a week,” the lawyer wrote.

Puiia said spring cleanup along private roads is not impossible to do, but permission will be required.


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