LIVERMORE — Selectpersons voted Thursday night to table a proposal to take private property at the end of Butter Hill Road for a turnaround for plow trucks and school buses.

The issue will be addressed at the Feb. 15 board meeting, but meanwhile the town can use the area and representatives of all interested parties will meet to try negotiate an agreement.

The town has considered taking the 3,280-square-foot parcel owned by Sherry L. Estes and Mark A. Luse since December 2018 by eminent domain. That law gives governments power to take private property for public use while providing just compensation to the owner.

Livermore officials tabled a decision Thursday on taking a 3,280-square-foot parcel, center, at the end of Butter Hill Road for a turnaround for snowplows and school buses. Those involved will meet to try to resolve the issue. Submitted photo

The town had used the area as a turnaround for plow trucks, school buses and emergency vehicles for some 20 years. Obstructions placed by Estes and Luse have made it difficult for the town to plow and remove snow from that area.

Selectpersons Tracey Martin, Randy Ouellette and Brett Deyling voted to table the matter. Mark Chretien and Scott Richmond abstained.

Deyling agreed to represent the board in the negotiations.


“I don’t in any way like this,” Martin said. “Before we vote (on an order of condemnation) is there any chance we can work this out?”

Jack Clifford, attorney for Estes and Luse, earlier in the meeting suggested litigation and mediation or arbitration, if needed.

“Why does it have to go to litigation?” Deyling asked. “We have tried, gone very far in our attempts to try to mitigate this proceeding.”

A draft agreement was rejected by Estes, who proposed that the town plow her driveway.

Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller wasn’t sure the town could do so.

When an agreement for the turnaround couldn’t be reached, town officials began the process to take it by eminent domain.


“There’s clearly a need to be able to maintain access to the ends of all of our public ways, have access for emergency vehicles,” Deyling said. “We’re unable as a town to meet our obligations to the taxpayers.”

Access has been restricted and it is a safety concern for the town and the landowners, he noted.

“You’ve said you would allow us to use it as a turnaround but you put up an obstruction,” Deyling said to Estes.

“I put up a snow fence to protect landscaping on my property,” Estes said. Nonmunicipal people were going down there and she didn’t want strangers on her property, she said.

Turnaround agreements typically include that the town will fix any damage to the landowners’ property, resident Amy Byron said.

The road was apparently abandoned by the town a long time ago and didn’t reserve any rights to use it for transportation, Clifford said.

Get a third party involved, eight chances in 10 it will be resolved, he said.

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