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Lisbon Town Council upset at being uninformed about a new road at Lisbon Beach and Campground

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LISBON - A new road at the Lisbon Beach and Campground has begun to take shape despite the town council not approving its construction.

The road bypasses the campground in order to provide direct access to the boat launch.

In April the town council asked Highway Superintendent Timothy Dow to look into how much a new road would cost.

Mr. Dow estimated a $20,000 figure but the town council never green-lighted the project.

In May Campground Director Michael J. O’Neil said keeping boaters out of the campground will improve the safety of the place as less vehicles drive through.

“It’s a big safety issue,” Mr. O’Neil said then, but the town council didn’t hear another, more precise estimate from Mr. Dow and the issue was not raised again.

But Mr. Dow built a basic dirt road over the summer without the town council’s knowledge.

At last week’s town council meeting Town Councilor Gary J. Jarvis asked about the road, noting that he didn’t remember authorizing it.

Mr. Dow said the work was being done so that he could get machinery into the campground to mow and cleanup the remaining dirt from the expansion project that finished in the spring.

Construction crews left lots of usable dirt at the campground at the request of the highway department.

“I wanted to draw material out of there,” Mr. Dow said. “I had to build a road just to get the material that I wanted.”

Mr. Dow said the work is being billed to the highway department and is significantly less expensive than the $20,000 figure he quoted in April. But Mr. Dow could not be reached to discuss the exact cost or why the other roads at the campground would not have sufficed.

“I think the next time it would just be nice if you told us that you were doing it,” Town Councilor Alan D. Dailey said.

Town Councilor Susan M. Duffy said the town council is concerned about the construction of the road because members do not want to overspend and force themselves to raise taxes.

“We’re not spending our own money,” Ms. Duffy said. “We’re spending the tax payer’s money.”

Mr. O’Neil said the road is not operational currently and can’t be used by people to avoid the campground.

“It needs more work, that’s for sure,” Mr. O’Neil said.

Ms. Duffy said the town council is not pursuing disciplinary action. “We made it very clear that [Mr. Dow] needs to come to the board [with similar projects],” she said.

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