Feuding over road escalates in village

An aerial view of the the Surprenant family's property (bottom half of photo) in Chesuncook. According to a recent survey, the disputed road runs through the edge  of the Surprenant property. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS)
BDN
An aerial view of the the Surprenant family's property (bottom half of photo) in Chesuncook. According to a recent survey, the disputed road runs through the edge of the Surprenant property. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS)
Posted Dec. 01, 2009, at 8:19 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:08 p.m.
Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin pictured with his patroll vehicle in Dover-Foxcroft. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
BDN
Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin pictured with his patroll vehicle in Dover-Foxcroft. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)

CHESUNCOOK, Maine — This tiny village is in turmoil, and the Piscataquis County commissioners and police aren’t sure how to restore the peace.

What started as a feud over the relocation of a portion of the Main Road in this remote community in the Unorganized Territory about 50 miles from Greenville has spilled over to all aspects of the community, including the cemetery, the gravel pit, the shoreline and the public docks.

Some residents are packing pistols while others have resorted to tape recording conversations with one another.

“It’s just ridiculous the stuff that’s going on up there,” Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin told commissioners Tuesday.

Commissioner Eric Ward agreed. “It’s just like the Gaza Strip,” he said.

To help calm the neighborhood, the county commissioners have relocated a portion of Main Road, ending a lawsuit filed by one resident. They also have riprapped some of the shoreline to prevent erosion and made cemetery improvements, but the feuding among neighbors hasn’t stopped.

Two weeks ago, a group from the local camp owners association spent a weekend filling in potholes in the road to the village and making ditches, according to Goggin. Two days later they discovered that someone with heavy equipment had removed the gravel from the potholes and replaced it with large rocks and dead branches, he said. The ditches also were destroyed and were replaced with tree limbs and logs.

“It’s a village in turmoil,” Goggin said Tuesday. “They have fought about everything that could be fought about.”

Goggin said state police, the Maine Warden Service and his department all have made efforts to bring peace to the remote community, without success.

“You can’t get these people to sit down and talk. They’ve done that before, and it didn’t work,” Goggin said. His department has received e-mails from angry residents in the area who have accused law enforcement of not doing enough, he said. Toward that end, Goggin said enforcement will be stepped up and extra patrols will be made to the region.

“I’m beside myself as to what to do next up there,” Goggin said. “I don’t think it would behoove me to try to put somebody up there hiding in the woods on an 8-mile road trying to find somebody sticking sticks in a pothole in the middle of the night. I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do with those people. There’s some awful agitators up there.”

dianabdn@myfairpoint.net

876-4579

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in State