Ellsworth Home Owner Upset with DOT 

Wayne Harvey

If you’ve driven down Route 1A at any point in the last six months, you know there is road construction going on.The road is being widened so it will be easier to travel to and from Ellsworth and the coast.But for some who live or own businesses along that stretch of road, like Jim Sarosi, the improvements are taking away their property.”They looked around the property and there really isn’t anything else or any other thing they can do except, I mean they told us that the right of way isn’t in our house, so there really wasn’t anything else they were going to do for us.”Sarosi bought this place in 1994. But with the improvements to Route 1A, he’ll have just a few feet from his front steps until he’s off his property.”From Bangor down to Ellsworth, Route 1A is a very important economic corridor,” said Mark Latti the Public Information Officer for the Maine Department of Transportation. “And what we’re trying to do is make that road safer and more efficient and that’s why we’re straightening out the road and widening the road so it’s going to be a safer road, with better drainage, better visibility and it’s also going to be able to move traffic more efficiently.”The Sarosi’s were told about the widening project last spring.”After some thought into it, I mean we wouldn’t have any parking. We have a son with Aspberger’s. It’s a spectrum of Autism. I mean it’s not safe to be right that close to the road and we weren’t very happy with it all together.”The Sarosi’s aren’t the only ones the State is negotiating with according to Latti.”We have over 200 property owners that we are talking with in that seven mile area, and to date we’ve reached agreement with all of them except for only a handful.””You can wait til the project is over and it goes to the Boards of Appeal,” said Sarosi. “And you stand in front of them and let em know what’s happened and they will review it and give you their decision on what should happen.””We’ve been working with a lot of property owners in good faith to get things settled,” said Latti. “And if it doesn’t, it can go to claims court where it will be presented before an independent judge and they will decide what the right amount is for that property.”