Power line project draws complaints

BAR HARBOR — Power company Emera Maine cut trees along Knox Road last week for new power transmission poles, and some residents are disputing the width of the right-of-way in which such activity is legal.

Jim Brooks, an engineer consulting with Emera, said he called residents who had been involved in community meetings to let them know some tree cutting would begin Monday, April 25.

A meeting already was planned to discuss the right-of-way issue Thursday, April 28, a follow-up to a similar meeting held in March with Brooks and Steve Sloan of Emera.

“Emera has told residents that all poles will be ‘within the public right of way,’ but unless they provide adequate documentation as to the disputed width of this right-of-way, this claim may not be correct,” resident Dessa Dancy wrote in an email to neighbors.

Emera’s claim “that Knox Road is really a 3-rod road (49.5 feet wide) is very doubtful,” she wrote.

Sloan said Emera’s survey found “no conclusive record or field evidence defining the width of the road or the right-of-way” and concluded a state law applies to define the width as 3-rod.

“That is our conclusion, using a professional with solid experience and reputation in this area,” Sloan told the Islander. “We’re comfortable with that. Some of the folks who were at the meeting have a different opinion, and they are free to pursue whatever further research they would like to do.”

Dancy told the Islander she and her husband Jake Jagel have been doing research into the road width for several years and disagree.

Jagel said another state law dealing with “lost or doubtful boundaries” provides a process for a town council to petition county commissioners to survey and determine the proper width of the road.

“It’s rare to do, but it’s worth doing,” Dancy said.

Brooks said Tuesday that the tree cutting on the road is complete.

“All of the feedback we have is those property owners are generally pleased with the trim and felt that it looked good,” Sloan said. Emera has all of the town permits and easements from property owners (for anchor points) needed to complete the project, he said.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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