A large dot marks the only home on dead-end Wyman Road, off Federal Road, in Livermore. Selectmen voted Tuesday to move forward with closing the road to winter maintenance and sending notices to three abutters. Google maps screenshot

LIVERMORE — Selectpersons voted 3-1 Tuesday night to move forward with discontinuing Wyman Road to winter maintenance and send notices to abutters.

Selectpersons Mark Chretien, Scott Richmond and Jeremy Emerson were in favor, Brett Deyling was opposed. Randy Ouellette was absent.

Deyling said even though he thought it is the right thing to do, there are a lot of unanswered questions.

Selectpersons on Sept. 29 took no action on the matter after Christopher and Addie McHugh, who live on the road, and their attorney questioned the legality of not continuing winter maintenance.

Several residents spoke against it. Roberta Manter, a Fayette resident and founder of Maine Residents and Owners on Abandoned and Discontinued Ways, said state laws on discontinuing winter maintenance had changed.

“As was discussed at the public hearing, it is required you give a year for abutting property owners to secure easements,” Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said. He said he researched the issue and identified three landowners whose property abutted the road: Anthony and Terri Maxwell, John and Beth Johnson and the McHughs.


At the March 5, 1945, Town Meeting, voters approved an article to “build the road as laid out by the selectmen leading from Route 4 to Chicoine place so called as per plan of Cottage Terrace,” according to the meeting minutes, which were included in a history provided by Miller. The Androscoggin County Registry of Deeds showed Donat Chicoine owning 11 lots as recorded in the plan of Cottage Terrace made by F. G. Scammon C. E. dated 1924, the history noted.

A year later, on March 4, 1946, voters accepted the road and raised $300, according to the history.

The town’s tax map shows a 135-foot road to the property once owned by Chicoine and now owned by the McHughs, Miller said.

Maine law requires a seven-step process to discontinue a road, Miller said. The first is determining whose property abuts the road and beginning consideration of damages to be paid to abutters for the reduction in fair market value of their property caused by the loss of a municipally maintained road.

The history provided indicates the Maxwell property has a driveway off Federal Road (Route 4) while the Johnsons’ access is through Schoolhouse Hill.

For step two the town must notify all abutting property owners of the proposed discontinuance, with the law only requiring mailed notice and proof of receipt.


Under step three municipal officers hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed discontinuance and finalize damages to be paid abutters. The officers may opt to proceed with the discontinuance provided that 1. a public easement in the road will be retained or 2. if no public easement will be retained the officers have verified that “private easements run with title of the property owners’ land for the purpose of allowing travel along the way for abutting property owners and their leasees and guests” and that these easements be filed in the registry of deeds.

It looks like there is only one property losing access to a public way, the others use other public roads, Deyling said. The town would have to talk to its attorney, an assessor to determine damages, he noted.

“They are on the business corridor,” resident Joshua Perkins said.

Wyman Road isn’t seen as business friendly, it has a 15% grade, Deyling noted. “It’s a nightmare,” he added.

According to state information on disposing of municipal roads, if any property abutting a road to be discontinued is not otherwise accessible by another public way, the notice (of proposed discontinuance) must include information concerning the right of abutting property owners to create private easements to provide for access. The notice for such cases must also state the law requires the discontinuance process be paused for one year after the notice is sent — to allow the property owners to confirm private access to property, the state information notes.

After one year has passed from the date the notice was sent, the process may be resumed.


Richmond said voter approval is needed and this can’t be voted on until the April 2024 town meeting.

The town would have no obligation if a public easement is retained, the public still has the right to travel the road, Miller said.

Just keep plowing the road, Perkins said.

“It has cost us so much money,” highway Foreman Roger Ferland said. “It’s $500 every time a tow truck goes down there.”

If Ferland has a driver stuck there it means two people are tied up, Deyling said. “It will continue to cost the town more to continue plowing that road.”

“That is a fair assessment,” Richmond said.


“When the town voted to put this (road) in, there was going to be a subdivision put in there,” Miller said. “That never happened.”

McHugh owns eight of the proposed lots; it’s an economic benefit for him, and is costing everybody else, Deyling noted. This road is taking up the town’s time while another road with 10-12 houses on it is waiting to be plowed, he added.

“If we don’t think this is going to work, we can stop it,” Richmond said.

In other business, selectpersons approved getting bids to snowblow Wyman Road this winter.

“I think it is a good idea,” Deyling said. “We’ve damaged enough equipment. Only plow the town’s obligation.”

Chretien said the town would do the sanding because once it has been plowed a truck could back down.

Bids are due before the Oct. 25 selectpersons meeting.

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