January 12, 2011


Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- It’s been a long road on a short road, says Alan Howard, one of a handful of residents living along Mundy Lane near Beaver Lake in Derry.
The Town Council officially accepted the stretch of about 500 feet of private
 road last week, after years of extending public maintenance to the area each winter.
“I’m just so pleased it’s finally over,” said Howard, who has lived on Mundy Lane for almost 42 years.
Mundy Lane was one of 14 private roads that historically received winter town maintenance through a special annual request of the council, said Derry Public Works Director Mike Fowler on Tuesday.
But with a new ordinance approved
 in March 2009, the council asked residents on private roads interested in public winter maintenance to petition to have their roads formally accepted by the town.
Residents of Mundy Lane did petition the town that month to be accepted as a public street, but Fowler said it’s been a lengthy process.
“The public works department made it well known that you had to go through
 a number of steps to achieve this,” Fowler said Tuesday. “... Everybody on Mundy Lane was very anxious for their road to be turned into a public way, but they were extremely patient and in the end their mission was accomplished.” 

When residents petition to have their street accepted as a public road, the town must hire a legal consultant to verify ownership along the stretch of affected road and arrange rightof- ways and easements where necessary. 
The town then also must hire a surveyor to produce a formal layout of the area, he said. 
In the case of Mundy Lane, the town spent $3,400 for legal fees and $8,300 for survey work, Fowler said. 
Mundy Lane is the fourth of those 14 private winter maintenance roads to be accepted as public streets since the ordinance was approved, Fowler said. Field Road, Kenro Way and Julian Road were the others, he said. 
Colette’s Grove and Sanborn roads also recently petitioned for and were accepted as public streets, he said, though neither had been receiving public winter maintenance. 
Private streets Worthley Road, Lake Avenue, Pebble Lane and Rocky Road are all still waiting for public acceptance, Fowler said. 
Fowler said he expects those streets to go before the council for acceptance within the next six months to a year. 
But not all of the 14 roads are up for acceptance at this point. 
Fowler said that residents along Jenny Dickey Hill Road, for example, have yet to petition to be a public way. 
“For whatever reason, the folks who live on that road did not come forward with a petition,” he said. “We no longer take care of that road.” 
Fowler says he’s calling Mundy Lane a success, however. 
“This puts to rest an open question that the public works department has always dealt with with winter maintenance,” Fowler said. “It puts the residents and our department at ease to settle these issues one way or another. Now we know in which direction we are headed on Mundy Lane.” 
And Howard said he hopes things just continue as they always have. 
“Honestly, it would be very nice if nothing changed at all,” he said. “We’re very happy with what they’ve done in the past.” 

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