FARMINGTON — Selectmen voted Tuesday, Oct. 12, not to reimburse Robin Hutchinson for repair costs for a tire and rim damaged on the Morrison Hill Road Aug. 26.

Hutchinson was seeking $649.37, the amount he spent to repair his vehicle. He notified Executive Assistant Nancy Martin of the damage that day, stating that the pavement drops a foot.

Public Works addressed that portion of the road later that day, Town Manager Christian Waller said by phone during the meeting. “There is a variety of criteria for us to use on the liabilities that are, aren’t involved by the town based on Maine law,” he said. “On consultation with the town’s attorney the claim didn’t meet the criteria pertaining to liability on the town’s part.”

On Aug. 26 the foreman called about repairs needed on the Weeks Mill and Morrison Hill roads, according to a written statement from Public Works employee Ronald Jalbert. A wash about two to three inches deep next to the tar was filled in and wheel packed, taking maybe 10 minutes, the statement continued.

Hutchinson brought his tire plus several photographs of the washout to the board meeting. He questioned the depth of the washout but had not used a scale in his photos to show that.

According to Maine’s pothole law there are three facts that have to be established, Waller said. The third one notes the town must have had at least 24 hours prior notice of the defect and failed to correct it, he continued.

“We hadn’t received specific information regarding that area,” Waller said. “It would appear therefore that the town is not liable based on that.”

“I’m sympathetic with your plight because I’ve had something similar happen to me,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said. Towns are pretty responsive, but with the miles of roads communities have they can’t correct things as soon as they happen, he noted.

Hutchinson said he would take it to small claims court.

“That’s your right,” Selectman Chairman Matthew Smith said.

In other business, the board approved a taxicab license for Tommie Joseph Plourde.

Plourde lives in Jay, has driven cabs in Aroostook County where his business is based, and will be available at all hours, Martin said Wednesday, Oct. 20.

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