December 8, 2011

Bryant Pond quiet zone idea considered

By Ken Briggs, Advertiser Democrat, 8 December 2011

WOODSTOCK – Another Woodstock citizen has asked the Board of Selectmen about the possibility of a “quiet zone” on Route 26 in Bryant Pond village.

“I’ve lived here for 60 years and it is worse now than ever,” longtime resident Belmont House told the board. “The road is bad. The vibrations are so bad it just about knocks me out of my chair.”

Selectman Rick Young agreed, but said enforcement will be an issue.

“We can put signs up, but it is up to the troopers to decide whether to enforce it.”

Selectman Ronald Deegan said there are two issues, noise and the road condition.

There is a possibility that another Woodstock resident is working on an ordinance to establish the quiet zone. Town Manager Vern Maxfield was directed to follow up on the issue and to contact the state DOT about the road.

Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman reported on various properties which she has found to be a concern in town.

After a meeting with property owner John Cox, she said that he had complied with a request to make a dilapidated building he owns more safe.

“It is secure,” she said. “I am happy with it.”

Cox had been part of a contentious public hearing on dangerous buildings last month.

Corey-Whitman also discussed steps she has taken to get a property on Main Street owned by GMC Mortgage cleaned up. The old red house is in a state of decay, she said. Corey-Whitman’s report has been filed in the Registry of Deeds and sent to the bank”s attorney.

After a discussion led by Selectmen Steven Bies, it was agreed to pass a motion requiring Corey-Whitman to keep pushing the issue, and said that there may be a public hearing on this building. Bies was concerned about not treating all property owners alike.

Yet another public hearing may be held because of a lack of communication from another homeowner on Cushman Road. Corey-Whitman said there has “been no contact since September.” When asked what needed to be done to avoid a hearing, she replied “call me.”

Resident Leon Twitchell appeared on behalf of the Ad Hoc Wind Power Committee. He presented a proposed Declaration of Intent and asked the board for its support. The committee has been working for more than two months on an ordinance and found it to be very hard work, he said.

Twitchell spoke of “the different environmental effects at different places” of each of the wind projects in Maine, noting there are”serious complexities to different issues.”

“We feel that we will get a better picture of problems when the turbines are spinning” he stated, suggesting that any ordinance wait until people have an understanding of what really will happen when the project is up and running. The committee proposed a recommendation that no new applications be accepted for a year and that the ordinance be ready for the 2013 Town Meeting.

Selectman Ronald Deegan approved the idea, commenting on the acquisition of “good data, not skewed” and added that the committee “has done a tremendous job.”

Selectman Rick Young also liked the idea that any ordinance “would address this town, not somewhere else.”

The proposal will go back to the committee for final approval and then back to the selectmen for placement on the warrant for the next town meeting.

The board also learned that more residents on Billings Hill Road have sent in letters requesting the town cover winter as well as summer maintenance. Billings Hill is “not an easy road to plow” said Young. Such decisions can only be made by the voters at annual town meeting.

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