Does the town plow private roads?

Since 1970, the Town of Colchester has been involved in the practice of providing varying levels of winter road maintenance to a portion of the Town's 41 miles of privately owned roadways. The appropriateness of this practice has been discussed and voted on many times over the past 47 years.

An extensive study of plowing private roads was conducted by the Public Works Department in 1995. In 1997, in an attempt to minimize the risks to the Town for this practice, the voters of Colchester approved an amendment to the Town's Charter which enabled the Selectboard to establish a formal policy regarding the practice. To date, the Town has chosen to continue the practice and no formal policy has been established. After public input, the Selectboard will adopt a formal policy on this issue. In 2015, the Governance Committee made a recommendation to the Selectboard that a formalized private road policy be developed and the Charter language pertaining to this issue removed. More recently, an increasing number of citizens have expressed concerns over the fairness and equity in this practice, as roughly 34% of the Town's private roads receive winter maintenance while the remaining 66% do not.

The Colchester Selectboard will be discussing the snow/ice removal operations of 14 miles of the Town's 41 miles of private roads at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in the Outer Bay Conference room on the third floor of the Town Offices at 781 Blakely Road. The Selectboard will be considering whether to:

  1. Continue with the status quo (provide winter maintenance to 14 miles of the 41 miles of private roads);
  2. Discontinue winter operations on all private roads; or
  3. Provide winter maintenance to all private roadways if they meet established Town standards and are converted to public roadways.

More information:

Show All Answers

1. Does the town plow private roads?
2. How do I register to vote?
3. When are taxes due?
4. Who do I speak with about my water/bill?
5. Where can I get my car seat fitted?
6. Who can remove a wild animal from my property?
7. Is the water quality safe at the beach?
8. Can we have a campfire at our house?
9. Where can we get Great Escape or Six Flags tickets?
10. Where is the post office, and what is their phone number?
11. How do I register my dog?
12. Does the Town pick up trash and recycling?
13. Is there a leash law?
14. What are the hours at the Town Offices?
15. Who do I call about a dead animal in the road?