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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

LD 2264 proposed changes to our law

  • 14 Mar 2024 7:14 PM
    Message # 13329761

    Major proposed changes to our PL 23:3101-3106 with the State and Local Government committee of Maine (attached). I wonder how this will affect the special law passed for Windham. Note changes to 3105-A.

    Here's the link for more info

    Public hearing on 3/19/24 at 1pm.

    1 file
    Last modified: 14 Mar 2024 7:28 PM | Anonymous member
  • 15 Mar 2024 9:49 AM
    Reply # 13329965 on 13329761

    If it reads the way it's written, roads that are public easement that the TOWN's DOES provide road repair services, 23:3105-A, would be responsible for ALL the road repairs, year round. Thereby, these roads would NOT form an association, not vote, or put NOC's (liens) on property owners (although the wording is tricky). The question of Windham's special law and it's ordinances is being looked into by the AG office.

    I had asked MARA members that have a public easement with their towns as to who receives winter maintenance. No one responded. I am aware that there are other towns that does provide winter maintenance on public easements/privateways. So, I know Windham is not alone. 

  • 15 Mar 2024 11:43 AM
    Reply # 13330045 on 13329761
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There is a serious flaw in the wording of this bill.  It was supposed to have been changed to refer to public easements that do not receive YEAR ROUND public maintenance, which means that winter plowing would not preclude having a road association.  The wording got changed in one place, but not in several others.  That needs to be fixed before this bill is allowed to go forward.

  • 23 Apr 2024 8:57 AM
    Reply # 13346949 on 13329761

    The Governor signed LD 2264. See attached.

    1 file
  • 24 Apr 2024 12:31 AM
    Reply # 13347405 on 13329761
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The final version of the bill cuts out much of what was proposed, due to concerns about unintended consequences.  The final version does accomplish two things:  

    First, it adds a clause to 23 MRS section 3105-A.  This is the law that allows a town to use its equipment on "private ways" (that is, roads that have been designated as "public easements" as opposed to strictly private roads) when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the public for fire and police protection.  In the past, some towns (particularly in Windham) have used this statute to allow them to provide snow removal for private roads by having them dedicated to the public as public easements.  Other towns have taken section 3105-A to mean only that they can send a plow in front of the fire truck if your house is actually on fire.  (By that time, it's too late to be of much use.)  The final version of L.D. 2264 clarifies the intent of the bill by adding the phrase, "to plow, maintain or repair those private ways to the extent directed by the legislative body."  This will allow a town to vote to determine exactly what they want to allow.

    Second, the bill allows the Commission on Abandoned and Discontinued Roads to meet up to 12 times per year.  (Originally they were only allowed up to 6 meetings, which proved not to be enough to make substantial progress.)  Hopefully this will enable them to untangle more of this highly complex problem and propose more productive solutions for these "orphaned roads" next legislative session.

  • 24 Apr 2024 9:10 AM
    Reply # 13347503 on 13329761

    Thank you, madam commissioner of the Abandoned and Discontinued Road Commission for offering clarification to what the law means.

    I also stand to correct myself. The Governor did NOT sign the bill BUT she had 10 days to decide. After 10 days, it becomes law without her signature. If you look at the attachment, you will see that it states "Law without Governor's signature". Thereby, after the 90 days of when the legislative session closes it becomes law. It does not become law automatically because it was not an emergency bill. 

    Last modified: 24 Apr 2024 9:12 AM | Anonymous member

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