They voted for local taxes, collected them for 34 years and then balked at spending the money.
From 1961 to 1994, the special Anne Arundel district of Long Point on the Severn raised more than $50,000 in taxes for the sole purpose of maintaining the mile-long ribbon of asphalt that is the only access to the private area.
The problem was that two-thirds of the community's 52 homes fell inside the boundaries of the tax district. The other third, built after 1961, did not.
The old-timers offered a simple answer: All used the road, all needed to pay.
The newcomers balked, noting that the road was not their problem.
So for the last nine years, as the road crumbled, the two sides bickered. And the money sat and collected interest.
"Some of the neighbors didn't want to do anything," said Stan Flint, a Long Point on the Severn Civic Association official. "But we have to maintain the road. . . . All our money raised is to repair the road. It's a very simple road."
Finally three years ago, the community, including an original signer of the 1961 pact, agreed that the special tax district needed to be dissolved and a new one -- including all who used the road -- would be created.
In May, the Anne Arundel County Council approved the community's compromise. Last month Long Point on the Severn Civic Association spent about $15,000 to patch and lay a double-coat of sealant on its road.