FORT ANN — A professional surveyor will measure boundary lines at Brown’s Cemetery in West Fort Ann and provide a map to the town and other parties involved in a dispute over access to the site.
Town Supervisor Richard Moore said the three lawyers involved in the dispute met at the cemetery Tuesday and will continue working together to resolve the complaints of plot owners and family members. The meeting also included surveyor Matt Steves, who will be doing the work.
Differences over control and ownership of parts of the cemetery and its access roads have been flaring for more than four years, but have intensified in the last six months, with large crowds coming to Town Board meetings.
Ed Paradis, who owns the land next to the cemetery and the nearby Moose Hillock Camp, has built a house on his land and put up a fence that cut off a commonly used access road and turnaround.
Paradis said he has been offering parts of the access road to the town for four years.
“The surveyor is shooting the areas discussed and should have a map later next week,” Moore said.
More noted that Paradis’ lawyer was at Tuesday’s meeting, along with Town Attorney Jeff Meyer and William Nikas, a lawyer working with family members and plot owners.
“The purpose of the meeting was to get an understanding of what needs to be surveyed regarding the movement of the fence,” Moore said.
At the December town meeting, Moore said, he asked Meyer to prepare paperwork for the town to take over the cemetery.
At Monday’s meeting, he told the board he felt it would be better to wait.
“I suggested to the board we wait and do the necessary paperwork once we know how this matter is going to be resolved,” he said.
Nikas is representing for free anyone with family members in the cemetery. He said he will file a lawsuit if the issue is not resolved.
Nikas said he has met with more than 25 people who have concerns. After Tuesday’s meeting, he said he is looking forward to seeing the results of the survey.
“The survey map will assist us to hopefully agree on boundaries which will satisfy the needs of the living while also respecting the rights of those who are interred there,” he said.