Naples Gore Road dilemma

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Bob Calileo, a resident living off Harbor Road, keeps checking the weather forecast.

The next rainstorm or thunderstorm could destroy the private road that he lives on. This could be prevented if the ditch dilemmas on town-owned Gore Road could be solved, he said.

Already this spring (as happened late last fall), water runoff and debris from Gore Road has been negatively impacting Harbor Road.

It is only a matter of time before the culvert is plugged again, and the money the property owners’ association spent goes down the drain, Calileo said.

He said the current situation adds to his frustration because it could turn into a repeat of what happened last November.

According to Calileo, in mid-November 2012, a contractor hired by the town to improve the shoulders on Gore Road had “removed the riprap with a backh-e and hauled everything away. All we had on both sides of Gore Road was just plain dirt in the ditch.”

“It started raining. I drove to the town hall several times, and talked to the secretary,” he said.

“Both sides washed down and came down to Harbor Road, where we had just done all this work,” Calileo said.

The Sebago Harbor Association (SHA) had just spent $30,000 on Harbor Road. That work included water-runoff mitigation such as culvert work, check dams, turnouts and 6-inch minus riprap (rocks) in the ditches as well as the paving of Harbor Road, according to SHA President Michael Lemelin. The riprap in the ditches was reinforced with extra anchorage as well, he said. The association worked in unison with Portland Water District (PWD), which supplied matching grant money for the erosion control work, he said.

With winter fast approaching after the rainstorm in November, the association spent another $2,000 to repair the damage, he said.

This week, with the latest weather forecast, both Calileo and Lemelin were concerned that nothing would be done before the rain started falling.

On Monday night, several members of the association brought their case to the Naples Board of Selectmen. Also accompanying the SHA members was certified soil scientist Albert Frick.

The association strongly urged the town to make haste to temporarily divert water running off Gore Road — which would directly result in preserving the work done on Harbor Road. If not done, a future deluge of water carrying debris such as leaves and road sand could dam up the culvert and once again flood the private road.

Additionally, the association urged the town to pair up with PWD to get a plan in place that mitigates erosion on Gore Road. Many of those who spoke suggested applying for a 50-50 grant through PWD, or checking with Cumberland County Water and Soil Conservation about grant opportunities.

During an interview on Tuesday, Lemelin said, “I don’t see why the town hasn’t started the ball rolling on it. They could do $5,000 worth of erosion control work; and then, get a $2,500 reimbursement from Portland Water District.”

Lemelin is at a loss to understand why Gore Road was not upgraded before the seven or eight town-owned roads that were improved in the past year.

Calileo estimated about 300 homes are located off Gore Road from Lake House Road to Route 114. Within the boundaries of Sebago Harbor Association, there are about 100 parcels of property and 47 homes, he said.

Because of the hazards and the number of people it serves, Gore Road should be top listed for upgrades to its ditches and surface, he said.

“During the summer, with all the traffic, it’s terrible. During the winter, it’s scary,” he said.

At Monday night’s meeting, Selectman Rick Paraschak said there are about 20 roads in town that have problems similar to Gore Road.

Paraschak explained that the town might already lose from its roads budget $100,000 promised by the state in previous years. He reiterated that the limited budget poses a problem when taking care of all the major town roads in need of repair.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Town Manager Derik Goodine agreed to put in place a short-term fix, one that would alter the flow of water off Gore Road.

“This isn’t something I have only fixed once. I’ve done it year after year,” Goodine said, adding that the Gore Road “ditch was riprapped four or five years ago.”

Goodine said the hill on Gore Road will always need maintenance, especially after storms.

The long-term solution for Gore Road would be to change the crown of the road and create a “berm” that would change the flow of debris-carrying water, Goodine said.

That resolution would require some road improvement money, but none has been earmarked for that project.

According to Goodine, a short-term solution was in the works this week.

“Actually a lot was done today (Tuesday.) But the interesting thing is when you don’t have a public works department, you can’t always call up your PW director and tell them, ‘Hey get there now,’” he wrote in an email.

“In fact, at times it is hard to get someone to do it tomorrow, or in 48 hours. I have a few people that can often get to things in 24 hours,” he said.

“I will be taking a shovel and will manually create diversion swales and try to knock down enough of the false ditch to guide water into turnouts until I can get contractor there to get the false ditch removed,” he said.

The town’s next course of action will be to try to mitigate the problem and maybe resolve the matter, once and for all. He planned to consult PWD sketches for Gore Road.

“As always I am committed to try and reduce the problem the best I am able to and with consultation of many different parties — all with different ideas of what is the solution,” Goodine said.

SHA President Lemelin said the homeowners on Harbor Road deserve something better than a Band-Aid on Gore Road. He suggested using more rocks to riprap the ditches.

“Why keep Band-Aiding it? Fix it,” he said.

“We would like the Gore Road problem fixed by the town so it doesn’t continue to wipe out our hill,” Lemelin told the selectmen.

“We are not talking huge dollars to fix it, especially since Portland Water District has the erosion-control expertise and the grant money to help fix it,” Lemelin said.

 

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