Private Ways with Winter Maintenance

The information on this webpage is to assist our residents and Road Associations or Home Owners Associations (HOA's) in creating a solution to the long practice of the Town providing winter maintenance on certain Private Ways.   There are a series of links below with summaries describing the information for each link.  

We recommend you start with the Town Q and A, then look at the appropriate summaries and links for your needs.  

The short summary of this problem is that the Town entered in agreements to plow certain private roads many years ago. Those agreements over the years have not been renewed and are now expired.    The Town under Maine law cannot provide public assistance on a private road.   To correct this past practice and in fairness to the residents and Town, a solution is needed.    The Town needs a mechanism which balances the solution and involves a private and special law allowing public vehicles on certain private ways and a local ordinance to regulate the oversight.   The Town sought this special and private legislation to accomplish this task on these certain roads.  

  • Public Easement Deed Language
  • Correspondence to Property Owners   
    • Follow up letter informing of final and approved Private & Special Law  L.D. 1975 (5/19/2022)
    • Initial letter from the Town Manager summarizing the issue, state legislation requirements and next steps. (11/4/2021)
  • The Town Q and A 
    • Provides a broad overview of the history, problem, data on the number of streets, affected parcels, challenges of solution and what the timeline needs to be.   
    • The Q & A document was revised to include comments, questions and answers from the special meeting of     December 7, 2021.   Please refer to the December 7th meeting agenda and video to learn more.
    • Revised May 16, 2022 to incorporate changes when law was amended by the state legislative committee and signed by the Governor  (L.D. 1723 was renumbered to L.D. 1975 when signed and effectively became law)
  • Private and Special Law for Windham
    • Provides the language presented to the Maine Legislature requesting a Private and Special bill to enable Windham to develop a solution that conforms to Maine Law.    The Town Council requested assistance from our legislative delegation to have this Private and Special Law.
    • Governor signed private and special law April 4, 2022
  • Local Ordinance for the Winter Maintenance of Designated Ways
    • Article III Winter Maintenance of Designated Ways ordinance, of Chapter 204 the Streets & Sidewalks Ordinance, was approved by the Council on October 26, 2021.   Please refer to the following Council meeting agendas, videos and minutes to learn more:
      • March 23, 2021 - Council Order 21-069 (Authorized Town Manager and Attorney to work with Legislators)
      • August 10, 2021 - Council Discussion CD 21-101 (State Legislation, Draft Local Ordinance and Public Information) 
      • September 14, 2021 - Council Discussion CD 21-127 (Draft Local Ordinance and Public Information)
      • September 28, 2021 -  Council Discussion CD 21-135 (Draft Local Ordinance, Inspection List and Q & A)
      • October 12, 2021 -  Council Order 21-190 (Public Comment Local Ordinance - action postponed to 10/26/21)
      • October 26, 2021 - Council Order 21-190 (Public Comment continued & vote which approved the ordinance)
      • January 11, 2022 - Council Order 22-007 (Public Hearing and Action on amendment to section 210-25)
      • May 24, 2022 - Council Discussion 22-73 (Law Approval - Required amendments to sections 210-25 and 210-26)
      • June 16, 2022 - Council Order 22-107 (Public Hearing and Action on amendments to sections 210-25 and 210-26) 
    • Please note that the Town's ordinances were recently codified (resorted and alphabetized) which resulted in new chapter numbers being assigned.  The Streets & Sidewalks ordinance was renumbered to Chapter 204.
    • Sample of an Inspection Checklist to be utilized by Road Commissioner.
      • The Public Works Director and Town Engineer are driving down all designated private ways and performing inspections now.  Reports will be provided this summer so that affected residents and associations have an idea of maintenance items they may need to address and within what timeframe.
  • Windham Road Classification Map , Abutter Information and Resources

This is an excellent quick summary: