In short, from what has been researched, the Town started this practice many years ago to ensure emergency vehicle passage to existing properties.
In the mid 70’s to 80’s private roads located around many lakes/ponds in Windham were not accessible during the winter. This prohibited safe passage of emergency vehicles to existing properties. The Town entered into easement and/or road maintenance agreements with property owners at that time to allow the Town to plow the roads during the winter. Initially those signed agreements were up to date, but over the last 20 to 30 +/- years they have not been kept up to date. These winter maintenance agreements expired many years ago and were not recorded in the Cumberland County Registry. So, many of the original properties have new owners, and new properties created since then have owners who are not aware that a public easement was given to allow the plowing service, nor are they aware of the responsibilities of private landowners for continued winter maintenance services from the Town.
Additionally, most of the affected roads are within the watershed of a waterbody. Over recent years, the Town has been challenged by water quality issues, including surface water runoff, high levels of phosphorus and other concerns. We will make progress with some of the contamination concerns of these waterbodies/watersheds by reasonable improvements to these Town plowed private ways.