Chet Herrick kneels beside a culvert on Irish Neighborhood Road, down the hill from where he lives. He said for at least five years there were 14 logging trucks a day causing damage to the road that he and two other neighbors have maintained. He said he is frustrated that the handshake and promise he had from town leaders to pave his road has meant nothing. Rose Lincoln

GREENWOOD — Highway Foreman Richie Diaz left abruptly from a select board meeting on March 7. It happened  during a heated discussion about the condition of the Irish Neighborhood Road. Specifically, talk centered on when or if  it would be repaired or repaved.

“When we came to you over 12 years ago we were told it was going to get worked on at the end of the road bond.   I’d like to know how you determine what road actually gets worked on?” asked Irish Road resident Chet Herrick. Later Herrick pointed out that resident Rodney Harrington calculated that three years of taxes from his neighborhood would have paid for the paving they have been requesting.

Select board chair Amy Chapman read through a 2015 explanation of how roads are chosen for paving. The factors considered, in no particular order, are: condition of the road; traffic counts, road type, ability to be grouped together, safety, and resident complaints.

In April and May of 2022, a one month traffic study showed fewer vehicles traveling the Irish Neighborhood Road than other town roads.

“When they were damaging our roads they weren’t being counted,” said Irish Neighborhood resident, Maureen Herrick of the logging trucks that used the road for five years.

“It’s a lot of trucks, but trucks are going to be counted as one vehicle and I can’t imagine it would triple these counts,” said Chapman.


“Howe Hill would more than triple them right now,” said Diaz.

Diaz said they have been up [to the Irish Neighborhood Road] for washouts. He said the money needs to go for gravel, so they don’t have to take their equipment so far, because of the expense to get there. “Every thunderstorm you’re going to get called out,” he said.

Diaz said he had received quotes on repair of the “roof” over the foundation.

He asked the Herrick’s,  “How many potholes do you have? Zero. How many on Greenwood Road or any of these other roads? I’ve lost count.”

“I used to york break it, I used to sickle bar the sides of the roads, clean out the culverts. There were three of us that did that, for 14 years,” said Chet Herrick.

When Diaz said they were talking about the cost to the town not the Harrick’s cost, Maureen Herrick said to Diaz, “the way you’re talking is rude.”


Diaz stood up, “Good luck with your road. We’ll do our best, we always do … We’re trying to figure this all out together. Rude was the last time you two came in here. I did all I could not to bite my tongue and not walk out… I’ve got a 16-year old giving me way more respect than you two coming in here and talking the way you do. We’re trying our best out there.”

Before Diaz left, Herrick reached out his hand and they shook while continuing to disagree.

“I would like to know where we sit on that totem pole?” asked Chet Herrick after Diaz’ departure.

Chapman said she didn’t know the answer and if she did, he probably wouldn’t like it.

“I would rather be shot straight in the face with the truth than be skirted around and around and around … I want someone to shoot straight,” said Chet Herrick.

“Our issues have been 30 years in the making. I understand the other roads in town have issues, they should be here addressing their roads,” said Maureen Herrick. Town Manager Kim Sparks said for the most part, they were the only people complaining.


“We pray for snow,” said Maureen Herrick, following the meeting, “because then they are grading it when they plow. After they unpost the roads you’ll be able to see it,” she said referring to giant rocks that poke through the pavement and need to be removed. They would be happy with a dirt road at this point, she said.

The distance from the Greenwood town line to Irish Neighborhood Road is 8.6 miles through Bethel. The area is not accessible via Mt. Abram. The distance adds time and cost for the town. “Like he [Diaz] said, it costs too much to go to the back side of the mountain,” continued Chet Herrick. We’re the lost side of the mountain. It takes too much of our time to get there. It’s chewed up money. So what do we do? Go to Bethel and ask them? Do we have to say ok, let’s become part of Bethel.

“We feel like the red-headed step child.”

Sparks, a strawberry blond, responded,  “hey, red hair isn’t so bad”

Sparks and Chapman explained a new updated software program from the state that objectively assesses the 39.1 miles of roads in the town. “It’s very mathematical. It’s certain grades on every mile,” said Sparks.

She invited Chet Herrick to join the committee that would run the software and do the assessing. Herrick said if he joined, he would likely be kicked off.

“At some point you’re going to get sick of seeing this ugly mug.” said Herrick referring to his visits to the select board meetings.


Before the sparks flew, Town Manager Kim Sparks said Sue Nusbaum of Florida, had contacted her because she’d like to pay someone to scan Cummings Cemetery and find the burial sites that were destroyed in the 1970’s by a logger. Nusbaum’s descendent is buried in the cemetery which is on Greenwood Road across from the town beach. Sparks and a state representative will meet with Nusbaum in May.

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