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Decision upheld to close Hanover road to winter maintenance
PARIS -- Oxford County commissioners said Tuesday that a 2003 decision to close a Hanover road to winter maintenance was done lawfully and will not be reversed.
A group of residents from South Shore Road had petitioned the commission to maintain the road in winter.
Seven people attended Tuesday's meeting, including Hanover Selectman Richard Stratton, who explained the history of the issue. He said a public hearing was held June 17, 2003, on giving the board permission to stop winter maintenance on some roads.
A week later, there was a special town meeting, and Hanover residents voted to give the board power to close roads. In July, the board had a hearing on ending winter maintenance on South Shore Road and voted to do so. An appeal was filed in August, Stratton said.
The appeal wasn't successful. Stratton said the closure was valid. The only requirement that wasn't recorded explicitly was public notice of the initial public hearing, he said, but there is no evidence it didn't happen, either.
Stratton said that in 2011, the board confused its dates and voted to close the road again, a vote which must be taken every 10 years. That vote wasn't valid, he said, so the issue is up to a vote this summer. “It has to be done before Oct. 1,” he said.
“It appears to me the homework's been done,” Commissioner Steven Merrill said. He made a motion to uphold the Hanover selectmen's decision, which the commission passed unanimously.