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Legislature Trying To Figure Out Who’s Responsible For Abandoned Roads

The debate over who’s responsible for abandoned and discontinued roads continued before the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee Thursday.

“We’ve decided to have MMA (Maine Municipal Association), a group of managers and other parties and our legal staff come up with something they can reach consensus on,” says Rep. Danny Martin, a Democrat from Sinclair who co-chairs the committee.

The issue has been around for years. Homeowners on roads that have been abandoned or discontinued by the town or county are facing lawsuits over who should maintain those roads.

“Somebody has to be liable for that, I mean there are responsibilities for school children, school bus accidents, mail route accidents, and winter maintenance is always a concern. Hopefully they will reach a consensus,” Martin says.

The committee wants stakeholders like the Maine Municipal Association and homeowners living on abandoned roads to work out a consensus to settle the liability issues. The committee will consider recommendations from the informal group later this year.