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Fort Kent councilors approve one ATV route extension, deny another

FORT KENT, Maine — Fort Kent town councilors approved ATV access to an additional stretch of Charette Hill Road, during a public meeting on May 13.

During their May 13 meeting, Fort Kent town councilors approved extending ATV access eastward on this non-paved portion of Charette Hill Road. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

The councilors, however, denied a request to allow ATV access on South Perley Brook Road.

The Fort Kent ATV Riders Club requested the two additional ATV routes in town. One was to extend access on an unpaved portion of Charette Hill Road from Lot 37 to Lot 39. The other route was to provide ATV enthusiasts access to 1.25 miles of South Perley Brook Road extending north from Market Street to Kline Road.

During a public hearing preceding the council vote, several residents of Charette Hill Road and South Perley Brook Road expressed concerns about ATV access on the roadways.

“I live in an area where it’s so loud everyday it doesn’t make sense and I’m tired of this,” Dave Charette, who lives on Charette Hill Road, told the councilors.

This public hearing was actually a continuation of one on the same issue that started on April 22 when Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier said he was not opposed to extending ATV access on the requested section of Charette Hill Road. He did, however, oppose allowing ATV’s on South Perley Brook Road, citing the narrow and curvy nature of that stretch.

During their May 13 meeting, Fort Kent town councilors denied a request to allow ATV access on a 1.25 mile stretch of South Perley Brook Road extending north from Market Street to Kline Road.
(Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

“….There is not a paved shoulder there, there is no shoulder at all; there are sections of that road at that lower end that go directly from hot top to ditch,” Pelletier said. “We have to look at all of the facts and I believe there is a public safety issue with allowing that section of the road to be open to the public (for ATV access).”

On May 13, councilors Jake Robichaud and Corey Pelletier voted in favor of both ATV route requests.

Councilors Scott Pelletier and Dr. John Bouchard, who is the council chair, voted against both requests.

Councilor Carroll Theriault was the swing vote on both requests, voting in favor of the extension on Charette Hill Road, but against request for South Perley Brook Road.

Also during the meeting, the councilors recognized the dedicated efforts of two Fort Kent firemen who went out of their way to help the town.

The Fort Kent Fire Department received a grant from Efficiency Maine to replace light fixtures at the fire station, but the grant money did not cover the cost of installation.

Deputy Chief Matthew Gagnon and firefighter Thomas Morin, both of whom are certified electricians, volunteered their time and professional expertise to install the light fixtures at no charge to the town.

The council recognized Gagnon and Morin with certificates, thanking them for their efforts.

“All of the volunteer firefighters go above and beyond,” Fire Chief Ed Endee said.

The next meeting of the Fort Kent Town Council is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Monday, May 27, at the Fort Kent Municipal Building.

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