Narrow drives may block aid

MOUNT DESERT — A few homes here are located at the end of a private road or driveway that is so narrow or has such tight turns that fire trucks can’t get through.

That worries fire chief Mike Bender. But the town can’t force property owners to make their homes accessible to emergency vehicles. And if they don’t do so voluntarily, the town is not liable if structures on the property burn, according to a Maine Municipal Association (MMA) attorney.

Chief Bender said in a memo to town manager Durlin Lunt that the MMA attorney’s legal opinion seems to reinforce “the fact that the town does not have any obligation to…purchase fire apparatus specifically for non-conforming driveways and private roads.”

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Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]