by Willow Lanpher
Some town residents don't want to live on "Larocque Road."
A statewide effort to bring 911 emergency telephone service to all towns has created a flurry of road renaming that will lead to more accurate directions for responding emergency vehicles.
But the move triggered a letter to selectmen which they received Monday night from residents on Town Highway 12. The residents state that the new name, Larocque Road, is not the name they want on their mailing address.
"This is our home as well as Mr. Larocque's," said Virginia Lamothe, who helped to start the petition drive. "We don't need to live under his name, we all have names of our own."
Chairman Leigh Larocque said the road is not named after any particular Larocque.
"Myself or none of my family had anything to do with naming this road," Larocque said.
A committee was formed that was in charge of the naming, and the names it chose were posted at town meeting last May. Ron Morse, Barnet postmaster and fire chief, said that residents could have seen most of the road names at that meeting and asked any questions they had.
Shirley Warden, zoning officer and member of the renaming committee, said that the committee tried to come up with road names that made sense.
Lamothe said the petition included all the names of residents on the road except the Larocques. "We didn't approach them because we thought they wouldn't be happy with it," she said.
Five of the 18 homes on Town Highway 12 belong to members of the Larocque family.
Lamothe said she did not exactly feel welcome at the selectmen's meeting on Monday. "They're being very protective of this name," she said.
Larocque said that 87 roads in Barnet were named after families so emergency vehicles could find them faster. He said that at one time his family owned approximately two miles of road-front property on TH 12.
Lamothe, who has lived on TH 12 for 44 years, said the road should have a distinctive name, not a personal name.
"We are all owners of our property and our homes," she said.
The selectmen will decide whether to act on the petition, an issue from which Larocque has removed himself.
"I don't feel comfortable being involved in that decision," he said. He added that he would be upset if his family was not involved in the renaming process.
The suggested new name for TH 12 is Old Silo Road. Morse said he is not sure if the petition is in time to change the name, or if the town's list of names has already been added to the master computer database.