The end of ATV access road on Temple Road in East Wilton on Tuesday, May 16. From here, ATV operators can have access to Shelly’s Hometown Market as well as the Whistle Stop Rail-Trail. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — The Wilton Select Board continued discussion over the ATV access road on Temple Road on Tuesday, May 16. The discussion is a continuation from its previous meeting, where several residents from Temple Road voiced their opposition to the access road.

In attendance at the meeting were several residents from Temple Road, as well as other Wilton residents and members of the Temple Trail Riders ATV club and Western Maine ATV club.

The discussion over the ATV access road began last December when Michael Hoehne of Temple Road appeared before the Select Board to voice his dissatisfaction over the noise and high amount of traffic.

Hoehne returned to the Select Board with other residents of Temple Road on Tuesday, May 2, to continue their efforts to have ATV access to the Temple Road removed.

Participants at this meeting were allotted two minutes to speak their opinion before moving to the next person, allowing each member of the large group a chance to speak.

The first person to voice their opinion was Shelly Gervais, owner of Shelly’s Hometown Market, who supported the access road.


“I feel that that trail has helped my business immensely,” she said. “I have had no problems with any four wheelers being loud or being obnoxious.”

“To me, it was the greatest thing we could have done for outdoor recreation,” she added.

Hoehne followed Gervais, stating “I love Shelley’s market and I wish it the best it deserves, but I don’t think she depends on that traffic from Temple Road. The objection from the residents on Temple Road, and there are quite a few of us is the noise and very much increased traffic.”

Melissa Jones of Temple Road, on the other hand, said she was in favor of the access road and that she does not find the ATVs loud or obnoxious and she has not witnessed any ATV owners speeding or being reckless.

“I feel that the commerce that it brings into Wilton far outweighs the few people that live across that road,” she said. “I feel that brings way more to Wilton to have it open than if we were to close it. That wouldn’t make Wilton a very fun place to come and play.”

Ruth Eastman of Temple Road, along with other Temple Residents, stated they felt other vehicles were louder than ATVs and that ATVs were not an issue.


“I find that we have much more noise going up that hill from the motorcycles and the trucks that like to gun their motors,” she stated. “I think that it would be really sad if the town decided to stop this because it’s great for people to get out.”

One resident of Temple Road stated that she has a thirteen-year-old paraplegic daughter, and the ATV access road has been very beneficial to her daughter’s mobility.

“My daughter’s legs don’t work, but that machine sure does,” she said. “It does its job of getting her out there and exploring and getting her places that she can’t on her own.”

Martha Eastman with the Temple Trail Riders [TTR], who had appeared at a meeting with the Select Board in April of last year, stated that they were out of options in terms of finding another access road.

“Unfortunately, the club in previous years has tried to find a different access and it just didn’t work out. Too many landowners or too many obstacles. There isn’t another way for us to do it at this point.”

Eastman went on to state that TTR would increase their number of signs with speed limits and hourly restrictions, as well as provide more information to their club members.


Robert Dalot, President of Western Maine ATV club, stated that he had worked for years with the previous TTR club president to find an alternative route and there wasn’t any. He also added that if an ATV is loud, it is not legal.

Dalot went on to voice his support of the town of Wilton, stating, “I feel I owe the town for this. I seem to frequent the food store in Wilton now. I go to the hardware store; I don’t go to Walmart and places over there now. I come to Wilton to support the town.”

“I came back to Wilton because it’s a great place to live, work and play,” Selectperson Mike Wells stated. “And I remember that sign, growing up with that as a kid. Just hearing the stories of families being out there, grandkids, handicap, it’s a world that we don’t want to close down.”

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri added to this, stating “At last meeting, I was more convinced that this is really a problem, but after hearing from the residents here, I’m thinking that it’s more of a benefit. I think that we should at least give it another year to see what happens at this point.”

The Select Board voted unanimously to keep the access road open and to revisit the issue next year to see if there is any marked improvement.

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