Saturday 10 December 2022
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Are State Troopers Terrorizing the Town of Theresa?

Picturesque landscape, fenced ranch at sunriseFences are common features of quaint, rustic properties. According to U.S. zoning committee experts, up to 90% of fencing applications are for privacy fences. One couple in Theresa, New York, however, is taking things a little bit far, and for questionable reasons, too.

Seasonal cottage owners near Moon Lake claim that one family is irresponsibly building an electric fence on property that borders a single-lane gravel road, calling it a safety hazard that will disrupt their lifestyle.

Of course, the fence isn’t necessarily a passive-aggressive attempt to keep neighbors and their pets out, though many claim it is. Brian Albro and Carina Shelmidine — state troopers based in the town of Orleans and the village of Gouverneur, respectively — are building the four-foot-tall wire fence about five feet from the shoulder of Dogwood Drive, which serves as an access road to the neighborhood in Theresa, to pen their beef cattle in.

Charles T. Gregory, who owns a cottage near the state troopers, said he believes the fence’s proximity to the road could make it challenging for ambulances and firetrucks to get in and out during emergency situations. If the road is blocked near the fence, it could be difficult for vehicles to pass through.

“Suppose my truck broke down in the road and you had an emergency that needed a firetruck or ambulance right away. That’s a life-or-death situation,” he told the Watertown Daily Times, adding that the troopers have caused “nothing but trouble” since moving in.

Privacy neurontin fences typically need to be built according to the town’s setback requirements, which mandate that they be at least 15 feet from a road’s shoulder. Since this one is an agricultural fence, the town has allowed its construction, but Code Enforcement Officer Terry L. McKeever acknowledges that he believes it’s a safety hazard. And since the Moon Lake Land Corp. privately owns the road, the town can’t stop the project.

Gregory believes that the fence is being built not to pen cattle in, but as an act of retribution against others in the community who have had disputes with the couple, including two dog-biting incidents. One fellow property owner had to be hospitalized as a result of an encounter with one of the couple’s dogs, which include an Irish wolfhound, a boxer, and a mastiff, who are all allowed to roam the property freely.

According to Gregory, the state troopers plowed their driveway back in 2012 so that it blocked the road with a snowbank, preventing other residents from passing through. Though Theresa only received 78.2 inches of snow that season, the snowbank could have caused a much more massive problem.

“We all have respect for state troopers, and I’ve went to their home, but they don’t want to talk about it,” John M. French, a seasonal cottage owner who lives in Syracuse, told the Watertown Daily Times. “It’s like they think they can do whatever they want because they’re state troopers.”