January 23, 2018
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Council addresses ATV road access

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

DEXTER, Maine — A proposed fence amendment, a request for all-terrain vehicle use of a couple of roadways and a swimming hole issue were addressed Thursday by the Dexter Town Council.

The planning board had recommended that the council amend the land use ordinance to address fences after an issue surfaced last year on Shore Road. The board, which claimed a fence was installed on town property, believed the town had no authority to act on the fence without an ordinance. Although the proposed amendment was meant to prohibit fences being installed within 42 inches of any property line, the council was troubled by an added requirement that would have made it mandatory for property owners to register even pre-existing fences.

“I just find this ridiculous,” Councilor Judy Craig said Thursday. She said residents shouldn’t be penalized for the actions of one or two people; rather, the action should focus on the violators.

Pearson said requiring the registration of all fences would be an “administrative nightmare.” He said he thought the town has the authority to govern fences through the town code because any excavation in the right of way requires a permit. Based on that information, the council took no action on the planning board’s request.

A request by the Exeter Explorers ATV Club to use Pullen and Carr roads to link Dexter to the Corinna and Corinth all-terrain vehicle trails was tabled by the council until the club checks with landowners along the two roads and researched other options. That action came after landowners on Pullen Road spoke against the pro-posal.

In other business, the council adopted a resolution to allow the state to convey to the town the Route 23 rest area that has a primitive boat launch to the town. The use of the property as a boat launch to upper Lake Wassookeag has been an issue over the years because of its proximity to the public water supply intake system.

Relating to the rest area, a couple who claimed they had used the property as a swimming hole over the years asked the council Thursday why they no longer were permitted to do so. The unidentified man and woman said they initially were told by police that they could not use the site because of broken glass, which they said they cleaned up. They said police then told them they could not swim there because of the intake system.

Dexter Police Chief Jim Emerson told the council Thursday the property had been posted for no swimming but apparently someone had removed the sign over the years.

Pearson said that once the town has the deed for the rest area, discussions will be held over its future use.

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