OAKFIELD – With little discussion, Oakfield residents decided at their annual town meeting on Tuesday evening to resume winter maintenance on a portion of a rural, dirt road after leaving it untouched for the last six years.
However, the vote to resume plowing and maintaining the 7/10-mile stretch of the Brown Road, which never has been paved, was close, with 30 voters in favor of winter maintenance and 26 opposed.
There are several roads that are closed to winter maintenance in the town, but the makeup of the Brown Road has changed in the past few years.
More and more people have set up residences along the route since 2000, when the town opted not to maintain a segment of it during the winter. When voters made the decision six years ago, the Brown Road was not as heavily populated as it is now.
Several families have since built houses along the route, and some of the road’s newest residents attended Tuesday night’s meeting.
Most of the people who spoke publicly about the matter during the meeting said that they were in favor of plowing the route. One voter pointed out that residents who live on the Brown Road pay the same amount of taxes as residents who live on routes that are maintained by the town during the winter months.
Another countered, however, that he felt that people who bought property along the road were aware that it was not maintained by the town before making the decision to move there.
Town Manager James Smith made the decision to put the matter on the warrant for the annual meeting after several residents approached him and requested that officials take another look at the issue.