Gorham - Selectmen were caught off guard
when they were notified of a pressing deadline to submit permit applications to
open up access areas in town for off-highway recreational vehicle use. On
Friday afternoon, resident Keith Roberge notified Town Manager Robin Frost that
the deadline to submit applications to the state was at the close of business
Roberge alerted the town as soon as he was made aware of the impending deadline. The town was granted an extension to allow selectmen time to vote on the proposed route during their regularly scheduled meeting.
In the letter drafted by Frost, the town cited the benefits of having OHRV traffic and hopes that the economic growth will continue to improve. The Town requested that the state consider opening Route 2 from the trailhead parking lot to Jimtown Road, or in the alternative, the rail bed between the trailhead parking lot on Route 2 to Jimtown Road.
They also requested that the entire state-owned portion of Jimtown Road be opened. Regarding access at Cascade, the town asked for a crossing of Rt. 16 at its intersection with Cascade Flats Road and/or opening Rt. 16 from it's intersection with Cascade Flats Road and Cascade Hill Road to the Berlin/Gorham line.
In addition to requesting OHRV access, the town also included extending the house to mirror that of Berlin. With the majority of lodging located in Gorham, the town felt that it would be beneficial for riders to be able to attend events in Berlin and still have time to return to their lodging.
Selectmen Terry Oliver was absent from Monday's meeting, but with only two votes needed, Selectmen Jeff Schall and Grace LaPierre were able to move forward with the vote. The final decision on opening the roads will be up to the NH Bureau of Trails and the Department of Transportation.