P.O. Box 324
Truro MA, 02666

Important Town Discussion- Private Roads/Public Maintenance in Winter

In the gorgeous August weather in Truro, it is hard to remember the 3 feet+ of snow on the ground this past winter. But many hard lessons were learned by the Town and by property owners on private roads about proper and timely maintenance and plowing.

Property owners on private roads are responsible for plowing an maintaining their private roadways. Many do this through common agreements or homeowners’ associations. But a wide number of private roads run through subdivisions, the seashore, and other areas where homeowners do not have common agreements to share responsibilities and costs for plowing and maintenance.

In the winter of 2015, the Town found that both for medical and other emergencies and to provide access to utilities’ trucks and trucks carrying oil and propane to [even unoccupied] houses, many private roads were not plowed at all or sufficiently to ensure safe access. The Town is now seeking to develop an appropriate policy and practice that balances winter snow safety and access with private property rights and obligations, and that does so on a fair and equitable cost basis. This is new territory for “private roaders” and for the Town and we have an opportunity to shape the Town’s approach.

To meets one of its goals for FY 2016, the BoS is holding a public hearing on this topic on August 11 at 5 PM at Town Hall as part of its regular meeting.  All are invited to attend.

TPRTA is hosting a forum on this topic on August 20, informed by the BoS meeting and some additional post-hearing deliberations,  to discuss options and implications and to inform the Town’s policy and implementation, however that may develop.

We look forward to seeing you at this forum.