March 29, 2020

Chesuncook residents oppose road repairs> Some fear improvements may spoil hinterlands

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Under most circumstances, property owners would rally together to work for better roads, but that’s not the case in remote Chesuncook Village.

Last month, a seasonal resident of Chesuncook Village asked Piscataquis County commissioners for improvements to the section of roadway that exists from the parking lot to the village.

That request, outlined in a letter, has sparked some concern from other seasonal residents and from visitors alike, who are against making changes in this hinterland.

Richard Rugen of Hope Falls, N.Y., advised commissioners in his letter last month that he had difficulty getting supplies to his property and requested the road improvements.

This week, the commissioners received a letter from another seasonal resident who addressed his concerns. John Dilworth of Jonesboro, who is building a camp in the village, said the village had remained “unique and peaceful” because there was no roadway access to the general public.

“To allow groups of people to enter by car or truck would create problems with alcohol and drugs,” Dilworth wrote. Dilworth noted that the area has no law enforcement readily available and would be unable to cope with a large number of visitors. He ended his letter with a plea to the commissioners to not make any changes.

Karl Matson, the county road agent in Chesuncook, believes the section of road that Rugen requested improved is not owned by the county but by Great Northern Bowater or the state of Maine. He told commissioners in a letter that it was his understanding that the Maine Bureau of Parks and Recreation and many landowners in the village do not want the road upgraded in a manner that would allow use by the general public. This would destroy the “remote uniqueness” of Chesuncook Village, he added.

On Tuesday, the commissioners said they would continue to review the matter but commented that they did not believe the majority of residents there wanted any road improvements.

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