CAMBRIDGE — A months-long dispute regarding the possible closure of Corkran Cemetery Road was resolved Tuesday evening, when the County Council voted 4-1 to keep the dirt byway open.
Libby Nagel’s was the only vote to close the road. Council Member Nagel represents District 5, while the road in question is in District 4.
Council Members Jay Newcomb (Distict1 1), William Nichols (District 2), Ricky Travers (District 3) and Lenny Pfeffer, in whose district the road is located, voted to keep it open.
The issue first came to light in December of last year, when drivers discovered a chain had been placed across the road. A farmer who owns land adjacent to the road had complained that vehicles had gone onto his fields and trash had been left in the area.
A county “Road Closed” sign was then erected, without public hearings being held.
That was done without the knowledge of Mr. Pfeffer, who in the Dec. 15 County Council meeting, asked Mr. Edwards if he were familiar with the issue.
The chain was subsequently removed, allowing drivers to pass.
In recent months, the council nevertheless considered closing the way, and a public hearing was held on Tuesday, at which citizens spoke, both in person and over the live phone connection.
Before public comments began, Mr. Edwards addressed the poor condition of the dirt road, which floods in wet weather. “There’s really nothing you can do,” he said.
Warren Saunders spoke to the council, saying, “I don’t think the road should be closed for somebody’s personal, selfish reasons.” He said five homes along the way would be affected.
He noted its generally poor condition, saying, “The road was never maintained properly.”
“I never authorized it,” she said.
She said people don’t need to drive there, and, “This is not the first dirt road we’ve closed.”
Mr. Pfeffer read from a letter he had received from Delmarva Power & Light, which said in part, “Delmarva Power & Light has electric transmission facilities along Corkran Cemetery Road, and relies on the road for ingress and egress to maintain those facilities. The closure of this road will impede access to the transmission right of way.”
Later in the letter, the power company said that if the road were closed, a gate with a lock could be set up, to allow workers’ access.
“It’s upsetting to me,” Mr. Pfeffer said, “that we have all these people come out here tonight, that were speaking about wanting to keep the road open. The community uses that road on a regular basis. Mr. Edwards said it would take about $15,000 to bring that road up to a better condition.”
“And you say you don’t have the money, necessarily, but in February of this year, you asked, and we found money, to allow the paving of a cul-de-sac on Wagner Point Road for $10,000 that accommodates one dead-end driveway. I believe that we can find the money to help the whole community,” Mr. Pfeffer said.