STOCKTON SPRINGS — A couple who live on Heights Road came before the Select Board Monday, April 7 to ask the town, on behalf of the Heights Road Owners’ Association, to take over the road, which is now private.

Before Jerry Huntoon and his wife, Pat, spoke, Town Manager Mac Smith let the board know that it could either accept the road as a town road or accept it as a town easement, in which case the owners’ association would still own the road, but the town would maintain it. In that case, all abutters on the road would have to agree to the arrangement.

He noted that acceptance of the road as a town road could set a precedent for residents on other private roads to make the same request. Smith also shared an estimate of $130,000 from Public Works Director George Russell to bring the road up to town specifications.

Heights Road was built in 2001, before the current standards for subdivision roads were adopted in 2003. It is a little more than half a mile long.

Huntoon said he had lived on the road for 14 years and was “tired of getting nothing for (his) money.” He said residents were not concerned about having the road paved. Currently, it is part dirt and partly paved with reclaim (paving material that is ground up and reused), and he said it is in good condition. “We’re just looking for some relief,” he said.

His wife Pat said residents on the road must take their recycling out to Cape Jellison Road, and that is where their mailboxes are as well, making both less convenient for them than for some other residents in town.

Select Board Member Darren Shute pointed out that everyone living on the road knew when they moved in that it was a private road maintained by residents. He added that unlike the smaller plows used by independent contractors, reclaim would not stand up well to a heavy town plow. He said he was concerned about the precedent the town would set by taking over the road. He was joined in that concern by board member Betsy Bradley, who expressed sympathy but said the town could not afford to take over maintenance of all the private roads.

Shute moved that the board say no to taking over the road, but gather more information about Heights Road and look into developing a policy for accepting private roads if the property owners paid to bring them up to town standards. The motion passed unanimously.

The board also discussed the problem of dogs running loose on Sandy Point Beach. Smith said there had been a couple of complaints, and in one case a person was knocked down by a jumping dog, and while not injured, was shaken. It was agreed that Smith would make sure there were signs at the beach informing pet owners that their animals must be under their control at all times and that any damage caused by pets was the owner’s financial responsibility.

In other business, the board voted to appoint 11 election clerks for a term of two years, to expire May 1, 2024. The clerks are Faith Campbell, Patricia Curley, Mark Emery, Rebecca Emery, Samuel Fuller, Charles Hare, Amber Poulin, Beth Smith, Charlie Smith, Daryl Smith, and Mac Smith.

The next meeting will be at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 21, in the Town Office.

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