CANTON — A Peru woman told selectmen Thursday night that their decision not to plow all of River Road this past winter left her without mail service and fearful that emergency vehicles couldn’t reach her home.

Florence Hastings spoke at a public hearing on closing about eight-tenths of a mile of the road from November through April for the next 10 years. The short section is in Peru where it connects to Route 108.

“My driveway is right there; you guys used to plow all the way up to (Route) 108,”  she said. 

“Part of the problem is that there is no turnaround,” Administrative Assistant Scott Kilbreth said. “This year we’re going to address that issue in all the short roads that we have difficulty turning around in. There’s nothing to say that Peru can’t come in and do it, though. If they wish to open it up, they can do it,” he said.

Selectman Don Hutchins agreed, saying it’s Canton’s responsibility.

“We’re looking at the fact that we don’t have a legal turnaround and the days of the handshakes and turning around in somebody’s driveway are just over,” Hutchins said. “It’s the way of the world; everybody has to have things in writing and we have to have easements.”

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Townspeople will vote on the issue at the town meeting June 16.

At the selectmen meeting after the hearing, Liz Rothrock, secretary of the Lake Anasagunticook Association, and lakeshore property owners Carroll and Sandra Howes asked about the setback rules in the town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

Carroll Howes was concerned about placing structures or equipment on a small parcel near his property and whether it was legal. 

“I was told that the Canton ordinance law was that any structure (should) be no closer than 20 feet to the adjacent property,” he said. “I was under the impression that nothing could be placed on this small parcel of land. We’d like people to adhere to the ordinance: tents, recreation vehicles, cars and so forth must be set back 100 feet from the pond.”

Rothrock said, “We were assuming that we were using the state ordinances, which says that if the town has its own ordinances they have to be equal to or more stringent than the state ones.”

Hutchins said the town uses the shoreland zoning laws of 1996.

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Selectman Rob Walker said the small lot is grandfathered, “so maybe there are some things that he can do on his lot that other people necessarily can’t do because it’s grandfathered.”

In other business, it was announced the town’s spring cleanup will be done May 13, 17, 20 and 24. Brush, tires and appliances with Freon gas can be taken to the transfer station on Jewett Hill Road from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

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Canton Selectman Don Hutchins presents Susan Gammon with a plaque and certificate thanking her for her service as a school board member and member of town committees for years. The presentation was made before Thursday night’s board meeting.


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