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.
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.
Charles E. Brush
Perkins' Beach Road Association