3. Why did this practice start, and what is the history of Windham plowing private ways?

In short, from what has been researched, the Town started this practice many years ago to ensure emergency vehicle passage to existing properties.   

In the mid 70’s to 80’s private roads located around many lakes/ponds in Windham were not accessible during the winter.   This prohibited safe passage of emergency vehicles to existing properties.   The Town entered into easement and/or road maintenance agreements with property owners at that time to allow the Town to plow the roads during the winter.   Initially those signed agreements were up to date, but over the last 20 to 30 +/- years they have not been kept up to date.  These winter maintenance agreements expired many years ago and were not recorded in the Cumberland County Registry.  So, many of the original properties have new owners, and new properties created since then have owners who are not aware that a public easement was given to allow the plowing service, nor are they aware of the responsibilities of private landowners for continued winter maintenance services from the Town. 

Additionally, most of the affected roads are within the watershed of a waterbody.  Over recent years, the Town has been challenged by water quality issues, including surface water runoff, high levels of phosphorus and other concerns.   We will make progress  with some of the contamination concerns of these waterbodies/watersheds by  reasonable improvements to these Town plowed private ways.   

Show All Answers

1. 1. Why did the Town request Private and Special legislation 1723 for Windham?
2. 2. What is the problem?
3. 3. Why did this practice start, and what is the history of Windham plowing private ways?
4. 4. What is the best solution?
5. 5. If I live on a private road which is not plowed by the Town does this affect my property?
6. 6. If I live on a private way which is plowed by the Town does this affect my property?
7. 7. What do owners on private ways need to do in order for the Town to continue plowing?
8. 8. What does "public easement" mean?
9. 9. If my private way has a road association, do I need to do anything?
10. 10. If my private way road does not have a road association, do I need to do anything?
11. 11. What does a road association provide and/or do?
12. 12. What is the responsibility of the residents in these road associations?
13. 13. We have decided to form a road association. Is a non-profit approach best?
14. 14. What are the necessary steps to get organized if we do not have a road association?
15. 15. There is a lot of information to understand. Will the Town provide legal advice or guidance to move through this process swiftly?
16. 16. Who pays for this new road association and the ongoing cost of annual road maintenance?
17. 17. Do each of the identified town plowed private ways or areas have to form a Road Association or HOA?
18. 18. What if we as a road group cannot find a point of contact to organize the step-by-step process to set up the road association and subsequent obligations, or desire not to be involved?
19. 19. What are the private way road tallies, associations or not?
20. 20. We live on a private road not on the listing provided by the Town's website. Can we have our road added to the winter maintenance list?
21. 21. What if a road or area no longer wants to have the Town plow the road and does not want to comply with the basic road maintenance?
22. 22. Is there a listing of addresses on each private way road and a map?
23. 23. What is the cost of road improvements that may be necessary?
24. 24. Where can I find the Ordinance that was adopted regarding these Town Plowed private ways?
25. 25. Is my Private Road or Private Way defined in the Town Ordinances?
26. 26. How does LD 192 “An Act to Define the Responsibilities of Residential Property Owners for the Maintenance of and Repair of Private Roads” affect the Windham?
27. 27. Is there a check off list or summary description of items the Town will be reviewing for basic maintenance?
28. 28. Will the Street sign change from a private way sign to a public sign?
29. Summary