WINSLOW — Town councilors have taken the first step toward approving an ordinance amendment that would prohibit tractor-trailer trucks on Belanger Street, in response to complaints that such traffic has been using the residential street to bypass the more heavily used state routes on either side.

The council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to amend the municipal code to reflect this change and are scheduled to take a second, final vote on Nov. 13, according to Town Manager Michael Heavener.

Heavener said in a phone interview Wednesday that a public hearing would be held that night. If the council votes to approve the amendment, the ban on Belanger Street would take effect 30 days after that.

Pickup trucks, four-wheel vans, town and state vehicles and service trucks that need access to the streets or residences off them would be exempt from the rule. Violators would be charged a $25 fine.

Trucks have been prohibited on Clifford Avenue and Paine Street — and subject to the same fine — since the town passed an ordinance last October.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Town Councilor Benjamin Twitchell said that he had received several complaints about the surge in truck traffic on Belanger Street following the restrictions made last year on Clifford Avenue and Paine Street. Twitchell represents Winslow’s District 2, which includes all three of these roads.

“Once we made it no truck traffic on Paine, (truckers) decided to use Belanger to get from China Road to (U.S. Route 201),” Twitchell said.

Belanger Street connects China Road to Cushman Road and runs parallel to Clifford Avenue and Paine Street.

“That’s the only other road that really shoots down through there … I don’t understand why they’re not going to China Road or going out to (U.S.) Route 3, like you’re supposed to,” Twitchell said.

Belanger Street resident Christine Rice said Wednesday morning she did not know about the initial vote on the ban. Initially, Rice said she had not seen any trucks using the residential street as a short-cut and did not think it was an issue, but said she has a young daughter and supports the proposed ban.

She was only aware of the road being closed because of frost heaves during the winter.

“I’m in favor of the ban,” she said.

In other business, councilors voted unanimously to permit Central Maine Power Co. and FairPoint Communications to place a utility pole on Nowell Road. They also authorized the second of two mortgage payments for land that the town previously purchased on 63 Halifax St.

The town used this land to move its new sewer line after a crack in a drainage pipe created a sinkhole near a previous sewer main in January. Winslow Fire Captain Joseph “Rocky” Gravel was awarded a certificate of recognition for his contributions to workplace health and safety, which have also been recognized by the Maine Department of Labor.

“The professionalism, dedication to the town of Winslow and behind the scenes work that goes on with Mr. Gravel has been exemplary,” said Councilor Raymond Caron. “It’s a privilege to have him in the Winslow community and a privilege to call him a friend.”

Staff Writer Amy Calder contributed reporting.

Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]

@megrobbins

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