BELGRADE — A proposed ordinance that would regulate parking and traffic in the town, with emphasis on the village area, was rejected Tuesday by a 2-2 vote of the Board of Selectpersons.

The vote followed a half-hour public hearing where a number of residents expressed concern about enforcement and about requiring residents and business owners to clear snow from a 4-foot-wide sidewalk.

The proposed “Traffic Control and Parking Ordinance” addressed temporary street closings — such as one planned for July 29 for a road race benefiting the Friends of the Belgrade Public Library — use of sidewalks, including snow removal, and parking, as well as enforcement.

“In order to do anything about those legally, we have to have a traffic and road control ordinance,” Town Manager Dennis Keschl said.

He told the selectmen he looked into the matter of traffic and parking enforcement after he was asked about a 30-minute closure of Minot Hill Road on July 29 for the 8th Annual 5K Road Race sponsored by the library group.

Last year the race attracted about 300 people. Traffic is stopped with sawhorses, although emergency vehicles are allowed to pass.


“Since the road race has been going on, they’ve always come before the board and we approved it,” Selectman Ernie Rice said. He indicated he was unhappy that the town appeared to be “doing all sorts of ordinances now.”

With regard to sidewalks, Keschl noted that without requiring property owners to clear them, “the town would be responsible for maintaining that public way.”

One resident pointed out that the sidewalk will not be 4 feet wide until after the state Department of Transportation’s almost $2.7 million reconstruction project of about half a mile of Main Street in the village, which is to start next spring.

The state is suspending work during the busy tourist months of July and August.

Selectman Michael Barrett recommended leaving the shoveling part out of the ordinance.

“As soon as the state goes by there with a plow truck, the sidewalk’s going to fill up again,” Selectman Rick Damren said.


“It’s a losing battle against the state,” resident Bill Pulsifer said.

Donald Tillson said he was concerned that some landowners are not in Belgrade all winter and worried about the sand left behind from plow trucks.

“I plowed my sidewalk for three years and everybody liked it, but it’s a son of a gun to clean,” he said, adding that he no longer does it.

Judy Johnson, who was at the meeting on behalf of the race organizers, was told they could halt traffic temporarily, as they had done in the past.

Rice and Damren voted against the ordinance, while Selectmen Gary Mahler and Michael Barrett voted to adopted it.

In other business, selectmen set the property tax rate at $14.40 per $1,000 worth of valuation. That’s an increase of 40 cents over the previous rate.


Keschl recommended the $14.40 rate, saying it carried “very marginal increase” for property owners because of changes in the state Homestead Exemption Act. He also said his recommendation was based on the size of the budget and issues with tax liens.

Keschl also said there are plans to move the electronic sign outside the Town Office closer to Route 27 to make it more useful and visible to motorists.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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