Gate removed from Livermore Falls right-of-way

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LIVERMORE FALLS — The gate and posts that Gail Cameron put up on the sides of Foundry Road, where her residence is, have been removed.

Cameron put up the gate during the Oct. 11-13 holiday weekend and was issued a notice by police on Oct. 14 to remove it within 24 hours. She had a dispute over ownership of the property.

She waited to be arrested, but it didn’t happen.

No one wanted to arrest her, police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said, but people cannot obstruct a public way.

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Bill Nichols, the town’s highway foreman, removed one side of the gate Friday and Steward, who accompanied him, gave her until 1 p.m. that day to take down the other half and the posts.

The town confiscated the gate the foreman took down.

Cameron removed the other half of the gate. She had the posts cut off at the base on Tuesday afternoon so the town couldn’t take them as well. She wants the other half of her gate back, she said. It cost a lot of money, she said.

Livermore Falls selectmen canceled an executive session Tuesday night that was for a consultation with legal counsel because the issue had been resolved.

“I made a statement by putting up the fence,” Cameron said Wednesday.

She said believes she won part of the argument by making a statement, and the town won the other part by removing the gate.

She said she is tired of all-terrain vehicles speeding by and making a lot of noise.

ATVs had been banned from using the road until May when selectmen voted to open the road to the recreation vehicles. Snowmobiles had already been using the road to get from one trail to another.

“There are four taxpayers on this road and I’m two of them,” she said.

That figure represents residential property but not land owned by Verso Paper Corp.

The town’s Recreation Field, Wastewater Treatment Plant and walk/bike path are also on the road.

Cameron said she and other property owners on the road were not notified of pending ATV access approval. She was also not notified that snowmobiles would be using the road, she said.

Cameron and two other residents of the road opposed the expansion of the half-mile walk/bike path on their side of the road when they attended a public hearing on it, previously. The expansion would have been in the town’s right of way. The town dropped the expansion because of a number of issues, including not getting permission to cross the railroad tracks.

Walkers or bicyclists now ride in the road once the path ends to get to Park Street (Route 133).

“I have never had a problem with walkers,” she said.

When the ATVs go by fast, she said she or her husband holler to them to slow down.

Some of the walkers have children and sometimes they are on bicycles.

“Somebody is going to get hurt,” she said, including herself.

There is no posted speed limit on the road or no visible signs that encourage caution.

Since the speed limit is not posted, Steward said, the speed limit on the road is 25 mph.

In order to lower the speed on a public road, the town would have to ask the state Department of Transportation to change it or the town would have to adopt an ordinance that would allow the board to set the speed for ATVs.

Cameron said sometimes the ATV riders go by and make obscene gestures and comments to her.

On the other hand, the town has received some complaints that Cameron has harassed the ATV riders, Steward said.

She denies that.

She has a sign stating no ATVs or snowmobiles are allowed on her property.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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