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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

What are the actual reasons why people form road associations?

  • 27 Oct 2009 11:14 AM
    Message # 236092
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Do you know of groups that have started forming or actually formed a formal road association? (Under the statute, nonprofit or other.) If so, what were the biggest motivators in getting them to take this step? It would be very useful to have this knowledge because it will benefit assisting road association formation across the state. Could you reply to this topic? MARA will tabulate the results. Thanks.
    Last modified: 27 Oct 2009 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 27 Oct 2009 2:51 PM
    Reply # 236219 on 236092
    Deleted user
    Not sure about the parameters you set but our road association went through the procedures outlined in the law so that we would have a legal basis to put together and enforce a dues structure striving for equity.  By doing our best to follow the laws (some of which are very vague) we feel we have the authority to do what needs to be done to improve our road.
  • 27 Oct 2009 4:55 PM
    Reply # 236307 on 236092
    Deleted user
    The covenants of our subdivision make it mandatory that we form an "association" to take over the roads by 2010.
    We are now in the beginning stages of doing just that.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
  • 27 Oct 2009 6:03 PM
    Reply # 236351 on 236092
    Deleted user
    Betsy Connor Bowen wrote:Do you know of groups that have started forming or actually formed a formal road association? (Under the statute, nonprofit or other.) If so, what were the biggest motivators in getting them to take this step? It would be very useful to have this knowledge because it will benefit assisting road association formation across the state. Could you reply to this topic? MARA will tabulate the results. Thanks.

    Betsy,

    I cannot speak for each and every member of our road association, but, certainly the majority of those who pushed to form a State of Maine Statutory Road Association (2005 or 2006), were motivated by one property owner who regularly used the camp roads, but, nonetheless refused to pay.  The majority felt that by forming a Statutory Road Association (S.R.A.) that it would give us the legal leverage to force all property owners to pay their road dues.  And, since forming a S.R.A. this one property owner has paid each and every year.

    After the Legislature changed the rules and forced S.R.A.s to collect road dues based on a percentage of each property's value, just as each town collects property taxes based on a mil rate, I urged the membership to opt out of the S.R.A., at least until the Legislature reverted to allowing each association to determine its own rate structure.  Our association felt that it was more important to remain under the S.R.A., even if it ended up with a completely illogical and unfair rate structure.  Fortunately, we only had to wait one year, until the Legislature passed a bill to once again allow associations to set its own rates based on their individual situations and circumstances. 

    Adhering to the rules of a S.R.A. has not always been easy, but, after four years, things have settled down quite a bit.  I sincerely hope that these comments will be useful to those contemplating whether or not to form a formal road association.

    Sincerely,

    Charles E. Brush

    Road Commissioner

    Perkins' Beach Road Association

    Wayne, Maine


     

  • 28 Oct 2009 8:09 AM
    Reply # 236549 on 236092
    Deleted user
    Betsy Connor Bowen wrote:Do you know of groups that have started forming or actually formed a formal road association? (Under the statute, nonprofit or other.) If so, what were the biggest motivators in getting them to take this step? It would be very useful to have this knowledge because it will benefit assisting road association formation across the state. Could you reply to this topic? MARA will tabulate the results. Thanks.

    We formed our road association using the statutes as a guideline.  We preferred forming an unincorporated association because it's simpler and less expensive.  We also had a legal opinion that an incorporation would not protect us legally since the corporation would have no little or no assets.  We purchased a liability insurance policy instead.  We established a written set of bylaws in an effort to clarify certain matters where the statutes were rather vague.  The association has served us well, so far, although we do currently have one association member who refuses to pay dues and we may soon have to pursue this matter in small claims court.   
  • 28 Oct 2009 11:20 AM
    Reply # 236638 on 236092
    Deleted user

    Our road, 13th St in Acton, ME consists of 162 property owners and is 2 miles long with many smaller "camp" roads running off it.  A lot of our residents are now year round and it is imperative that we have access at all times of the year to an open and usable road.  After many meetings (4 yrs ago) with an attorney, we decided to form a Statutory Road Association that would allow us to set assessments and legally collect them.  Over these last 3 years we have been able to collect 157 assessments.....legally....and have filed liens....legally....on those properties that have not paid. The road was in severe disrepair when we started our association and since it's inception, with the great leadership of our former president, Bill Gannon, we have been able to reconstruct and pave nearly 3/4 of the road in a rather short period of time.  The property owners are most pleased to see their assessment dollars used toward reconstructing the road and maintaining it to their satisfaction. In the not too distant future when the road is finished we will be able to lower the assessments dramatically and enjoy the fruits of our labor.   A road association was not the avenue the owners wanted to take in the beginning but the results have now made them happy.

    Virginia Grover     President      13th St Road Association     Acton, ME

     

  • 28 Oct 2009 12:24 PM
    Reply # 236675 on 236092
    Deleted user

    Our association, Gray's Johnson Road Association was incorporated in 1989, under the laws existing at that time. I became a member in 1993, and it was still operated as mostly a "good neighbor" association at that time; non-paying summer camp owners were not pressed for payments. As the (dirt) road saw more year-round residents and more use, and more owners failing to pay (20%), we have had to become more assertive with requiring payment of annual and special assessments, including the placement of liens.

    In order to continue plowing our road as a "right of way", the town of Gray has also required that we carry liability insurance. This has increased our costs and necessitated increased efforts for collection. At this time, we only keep enough funds to cover annual costs, and don't really have a reserve.

    FYI, we just increased our dues to $165 year. I'm interested to know what others are paying.

    Jeff Morrill
    Treasurer
    Gray' Johnson Road Assoc.

  • 30 Oct 2009 12:37 PM
    Reply # 237652 on 236092
    Deleted user
    Betsy Connor Bowen wrote:Do you know of groups that have started forming or actually formed a formal road association? (Under the statute, nonprofit or other.) If so, what were the biggest motivators in getting them to take this step? It would be very useful to have this knowledge because it will benefit assisting road association formation across the state. Could you reply to this topic? MARA will tabulate the results. Thanks.

    Our association has not been formed officially yet.  However, the main reason is to get people to pay their fair share for the road maintenance.

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