FORT ANN — Some issues just won’t go away.
Even though it appears the cemetery and motocross controversies have been moving in the right direction, town officials find themselves still trying to make sure things are as they should be at Brown’s Cemetery in West Fort Ann and at the new ADK BMX track on Route 149.
Ed Paradis, the owner of the land next to the cemetery, moved a disputed fence farther back onto his property earlier this month, but town Supervisor Richard Moore said he wants surveyor Matt Steves to plot the fence again to see if it meets the specifications of the town Planning Board.
In addition, Moore said, there were some complains about the noise from the season-opening practices at the motocross track, which opened last fall but was closed for the winter.
Plotting the fence
“We want him to plot it in relation to what the Planning Board required when Mr. Paradis bought the land,” Moore said last week. “Before we make any judgment, we want to see if it meets what the board wanted.”
Paradis owns Moose Hillock Campground, and part of his land extends onto the cemetery. The town has taken control of the cemetery as an “abandoned cemetery,” according to state law, because no one is selling plots or officially maintaining it any longer.
The town has had help from Washington County Alternative Sentencing in caring for the cemetery and has also laid crushed stone on the access road, which had previously been cut off by a fence.
“The stone looks great and it really makes a difference,” said Moore, who noted that highway superintendent Paul Winchell has even more plans to improve the road. “Once we get the survey, we will determine how much farther we will extend the stone, then Paul is going to do some more work on it, and he said it will be even better than it is now.”
A number of people who own plots or have relatives buried in the cemetery are suing Paradis’ company over several issues. Attorney William Nikas, who is representing those individuals, as well as the Fort Ann American Legion, said last week it did not appear to him that the fence had been moved far enough. He also said other issues have not been resolved. The town is also involved as a plaintiff in the suit.
When owner Jeremy Treadway applied to build a motocross track at a former golf course, the Planning Board approved the application with a number of restrictions, including noise limits.
The track was open for only two weekends last year, but a small number of neighbors continued to fight the approval over the winter.
When the track re-opened this spring, Moore said the town received noise complaints, but again, he wants to examine the situation more fully.
“We need to get enough data to make a decision,” he said, noting the town has hired Todd Humiston to take sound readings. “We need to get the sound meter out there again to take readings.”