WATERBORO – A Waterboro Board of Selectmen’s vote on a proposed ordinance that would have allowed ATVs to use portions of some public roadways went nowhere in April.

Now, voters will decide the question.

Selectmen last week approved the election warrant that sends the proposed ordinance to voters at the Nov. 5 election.

If approved, ATVs would be allowed to operate on Ossipee Hill Road from the so-called Boyscout Road (also known as Cross Road) to the intersection of McLucas Road, on the improved section of McLucas Road, and on Deering Ridge Road starting at the double pole line to the intersection of Town House Road.

The proposal has been around for some time. Voters in November 2018 approved a non-binding ordinance with the vote 1,599 to 1,304, signaling their approval, provided it was governed by an ordinance.

Selectmen voted on the ordinance in April, but the vote failed to gain approval when it resulted in a 2 to 2 vote and an abstention. Voting in favor were Chairman Dennis Abbott and Selectman Ted Doyle, while Selectmen Tim Neill and Dwayne Woodsome voted against; Selectman Gordon Littlefield abstained.

In May, some selectmen had suggested the matter be sent to the voters at the annual Waterboro budget referendum in June, but the suggestion came too late, absent a unanimous vote – the vote on the matter was 4 to 1, with Neill dissenting.

The issue spilled over, to some degree, to the June election for member of the Board of Selectmen. An unsuccessful sign campaign was launched by a local couple who urged voters not to cast ballots for Neill, one of the incumbents. But he came in second in a three-way race for two selectmen’s board seats.

The Ossipee Mountain ATVers Club had been advocating for an ordinance in an effort to gain access to existing off-road trails for the last couple of years.

During a March public hearing, Todd Abbott of Ossipee Mountain ATVers said, Waterboro has access to 35 miles of trails in one section of town and 35 miles in another section — but they do not connect. As well, some land formerly used by ATV riders was apparently lost when the property sold.

Voters will cast ballots on the proposal on Election Day, Nov. 5, at Town Hall, where polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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