This man remains an island; divided Meredith Selectboard holds line on prohibition on addresses for vacant lots

MEREDITH — By a vote of three-to two, the Board of Selectmen upheld the decision of Town Administrator Phil Warren, to deny a resident of Chapman Island, on Lake Waukewan in New Hampton, a street number for a vacant lot on Sawmill Shores Road.

Glenn Feener explained that the sole access to his seasonal island home is the southernmost lot on Sawmill Shores Road, where he parks his car. He likened it to a driveway. But, without a street number, he said that the Post Office, United Parcel Service and Federal Express will not deliver.

Fire Chief Ken Jones, Police Chief Kevin Morrow and Director of Community Development John Edgar originally denied Feener's request and, when he appealed to Warren, were upheld.

Jones conceded "this is a unique situation," but reminded the Selectboard that 911 insists that only lots with buildings qualify for street numbers and cautioned against "opening a can of worms" by making exceptions. He stressed that the Meredith Fire Department and Stewart's Ambulance Service would be the first to respond to an emergency at Feener's property. If an emergency call were made from a cell phone, he said that the GPS system would enable the emergency dispatcher to pin-point the location of the caller within 10 feet.

Referring to the lot on Sawmill Shores Road, selectman Herb Vadney remarked "that's the place we should respond to if he backs over his wife." He went on to question why, given the circumstances, town officials were raising "bureaucratic obstacles" rather than reaching "a common sense agreement. If the fellow wants a mailbox, I don't see why we would stand in the way of it.," he said.

But, Selectman Peter Brothers said that the town should ensure that the 911 system of numbering properties remains consistent and offered a motion to deny the street number. He was joined by Nate Torr, the board chairman, and Carla Horne in the majority, as Vadney and Lou Kahn dissented. However, Torr asked Warren to explore the situation further in hopes of finding a satisfactory solution.