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Auction Can't Determine Windham Road Naming, Selectmen Say

The Knights of Columbus made the request to the board.

Selectmen turned down a request from the Windham Knights of Columbus on Monday asking whether a town road could be named by a winning bidder in an auction set to take place in 2013.

The board members cited town regulations as the reason for the denial.

The idea behind the restriction is public safety, as police and fire require a new road name to be on an approved list because of emergency phone calls.

An upcoming 'Taste of the Town' event is scheduled for May 14, and the Knights of Columbus came up with the town road auction idea to coincide with it.

Proceeds for the auction items in the event will go to local charities such as Shepherd's Food Pantry and Windham Helping Hands.

Board member Phil LoChiatto suggested that the group come up with an alternate idea along the same vein as the road concept.

He also said that he would support an auction where the winner would have their chosen name added to the approved list of names.

But that idea, as the board acknowledged, would likely not be appealing to bidders, as developers in town typically have a say in choosing which road name is used from that list, and it could just remain unused.

This isn't the first time that the board has discussed road naming as it relates to public safety.

Names for what will be the new Routes 111 and 111a have yet to be determined, and police and fire officials have spoken against concepts such as "New Indian Rock Road" or "New Range Road" for safety reasons on 911 calls.

Those new roads will be established in the next few years as part of the I-93 project.

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