• signs 'idiot proof' Andover and upton Road
County gives nod to extract dirt
by Christopher Crosby, Staff Writer Sun Journal April 23, 2015
PARIS — Oxford County commissioners gave preliminary approval for a private landowner to extract sand from beneath a county road as long as he repairs any damage caused by the project
Commissioners authorized county Administrator Scott Cole to look into an agreement with Harry Brown that would discontinue part of Albany Basin Road in Bethel so it can be shifted 800 feet.
On Tuesday, commissioners said they would allow Brown to extract sand beneath the short, dead-end dirt road off Route 5, if he will consent to paying for any damage to a new timber-framed bridge over Crooked River.
Brown, who did not attend the meeting, owns two gravel pits bisected by the road and that have been largely mined out. According to Sun Journal records, Brown, in partnership with Pike Industries, would like to shift the road in order to begin extracting gravel in an area between the two mines.
The contract would require Brown to issue easements to those property owners affected by the discontinuance. According to Sun Journal records, a temporary road, in use for as many as 10 years, would be built to provide access to the two landowners who own seasonal residences in the area.
Tuesday’s decision amends an offer already on the table, where the county would continue maintaining about 550 feet of Albany Basin Road, up to and including the bridge, while discontinuing the remaining mile. Discontinuance costs incurred are expected to be covered by Brown in exchange for rights to the gravel.
Attempts to reach Brown on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Commissioner Steven Merrill said the bridge is relatively new and would likely pose little expense unless damaged through the course of the excavation.
"He's getting a good deal," Merrill said.
Parties associated with the project have said previously approximately 122,000 cubic meters of material, with between 22,000 and 28,000 of them within the county's presumed road easement, will be excavated through the project. Extraction is expected to drop the height of the road.
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