Massachusett General Law chapter 40
Section 6N: Private ways; temporary repairs, ordinances or by-lawsSection 6N. Cities and towns may by ordinance or by-law provide for making temporary repairs on private ways. Such ordinance or by-law shall determine (a) the type and extent of repairs; (b) if drainage shall be included; (c) if the repairs are required by public necessity; (d) the number of percentage of abutters who must petition for such repairs; (e) if betterment charges shall be assessed; (f) the liability limit of the city or town on account of damages caused by such repairs; (g) if the ways shall have been opened to public use for a term of years; and (h) if a cash deposit shall be required for said repairs.
I traveled down Laurel View Road today and saw town property on that so called private road. Town property would be the light poles and wires etc,, belonging to a Town department, Templeton Light & Water. The united state postal service also goes down that road. I wonder if the Templeton police or fire department / ambulance have ever traveled down that road? I did not see any signs stating it is private property and since it has been open to the public and plowed for a number of years, I think the tax payers over there have a good case to be made, otherwise, why are they paying taxes if they will get nothing for it?
If all of those people suddenly stopped paying taxes, what then? Would Templeton take all of it by tax title and then what? How long would Templeton hold on to them? Who would buy it knowing the history? A planning board developer perhaps?
Time for the elected superior selectmen and elected planning board to step up and serve these taxpayers. Make the hard decision and make it happen, it is possible and it should be done.