LIVERMORE FALLS — The town gave residents Gail and James Cameron a 24-hour notice at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday to remove a gate and posts installed on Foundry Road.
Gail Cameron said she owns the road; the town says it does. Its recreation field and wastewater treatment plant are on the road.
The gate was still standing Thursday morning, town officials said.
The two sides of the gate were closed at one point this past weekend when an all-terrain vehicle couldn’t get through, town officials said.
Gail Cameron denied Wednesday that she closed the gate. She was just putting it up, she said.
Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said Tuesday morning that one of his officers had to tell her to open it.
After Steward spoke with state prosecutors, the Camerons were issued a summons on a misdemeanor criminal charge of obstructing a public way, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said. They were given a 24-hour notice to remove the gate and posts, she said.
A conviction on the charge is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Gail Cameron sat in a chair near the open gate Wednesday, holding a video camera. In a tree, another video camera had been installed, along with a sign that read, “Game on. Kiss my butt” with the word “FUN” written beneath it.
She had marked what she said is her property on the side of the road closest to her home with orange spray paint and put a line of white paint near it.
“I am waiting for them to arrest me and put me in jail,” Cameron said. “Then they have to give me a lawyer. The road is my property.”
The road has never been a throughway, she said. Her father owned the property and gave it to her and she has the deed to prove it.
“I’m just protecting what is mine,” Cameron said.
However, Flagg said the town owns the road.
The road is 66 feet wide, Flagg said. The town owns 33 feet from each side of the center of the tar, making it a town public way, and it is the town’s responsibility to maintain the road and shoulders, she said.
When the town had the road surveyed for the bike/walk path to be built, a part of Cameron’s lawn and shrubs fell in the town’s right of way, as is a garage owned by another property owner, Flagg said.
“Even if it’s on her land, you can’t gate off a public way,” she said.
If somebody did not see that gate and hit the fence, Cameron would be liable, she said.
According to Flagg, Cameron’s father, the late William Chabot, never owned the road.
When the town’s wastewater treatment plant was built in the 1990s, the Otis Mill owners and the town swapped land on the road in the area, she said.
The town gave permission for the recreation vehicles to use Foundry Road to get to another trail.
However, Cameron said she does not want ATVs or snowmobiles going on her property and has posted signs prohibiting them.
Steward was not available Thursday to give an update on the situation.