FARMINGDALE — Plowing will continue on Clark Street Extension if residents approve a deal between the town and a landowner this summer.

The Kennebec Journal reported last month that the town no longer was going to plow the road after after officials learned this winter that it was not owned by Farmingdale. After legal review, only half of the road was determined to be privately owned.

Town officials expect there will be an article on the June Town Meeting warrant about continuing snow removal on the extension in exchange for an easement. The town has been plowing the road, despite not owning it, for 22 years.

Clark Street Extension is a 200-foot road that juts off of First Street, formerly called Clark Street, just east of its intersection with Second Street. There are two properties that use the extension for access and one property that abuts it.

The ownership issue came to light in late December 2018 when the Town Office staff found documents recording a 1996 vote to discontinue the road. Town Attorney Mary Denison advised the town to plow the road only until the end of this winter, because public funding cannot be spent on private roads without residents’ approval.

Clark Street Extension property owners Andrew Proulx and Merleen Ahearn, however, want town plowing to continue. Proulx said at the Jan. 23 Selectboard meeting that hiring a contractor to plow the road would cost him $1,500 to $1,800 a year, and he was unwilling to hire a truck and accept liability if someone was hurt on the road.

In a Feb. 5 letter to Selectboard Chairman Jim Grant, Denison said the town had voted to discontinue all but the first 90 feet of Clark Street extension at the request of Richard and Linda Freeman, who owned property then on both sides of the road. In exchange for the road, the Freemans granted the town an easement to make repairs to the sewer line.

The Ahearn residence, left, and Clark Street Extension are shown on Jan. 25 in Farmingdale.

Denison said a similar easement from Proulx could be exchanged for plowing the rest of Clark Street Extension. Any such arrangement would be subject to approval by residents at Farmingdale’s Town Meeting. Denison’s letter said Proulx’s lawyer would be agreeable “to negotiating this type of arrangement.”

Proulx floated that deal to selectmen last month and told the Kennebec Journal that he was still backing the plowing-easement exchange. He previously had given spoken permission to town officials to access the sewer line, but said he would revoke permission if the road is not plowed.

The town owns the portion of the road that provides access to Ahearn’s property, so plowing could continue legally up to Proulx’s property line if no agreement is reached.

Selectwoman Nancy Frost said Thursday an article to address Clark Street Extension will likely be on the next Town Meeting warrant. While plowing was discussed briefly, no action was taken at Wednesday’s Selectboard meeting.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666
[email protected]
Twitter: @SamShepME

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