NORRIDGEWOCK — Athletic shoe manufacturer New Balance is moving forward construction of a stockade fence separating its Depot Street factory from neighbors who say the company has infringed on their property rights.
On Monday, construction started on the eight-foot fence separating the New Balance parking lot from the home and property of John and Lisa Ames. The fence is expected to be completed by Tuesday, said Lewis Devoe, New Balance facilities manager for Maine.
“They’ve been very cooperative,” Devoe said. “I believe this is going to contribute to both sides being better neighbors.”
On Friday the Ameses said they planned to take legal action against New Balance after the company began clearing brush and cutting trees to make way for the fence. They said the company hadn’t given them adequate notice and was doing work on their property.
The Ameses have 40 dogs on less than an acre of property. They have an agreement with the town to clean up their yard after it was cited as violating an ordinance prohibiting the accumulation of worn-out or junked cars in residential areas, according to Town Manager Michelle Flewelling.
John Ames disputes there is such an upkeep agreement with the town, though he said there has been discussion with the town over the condition of the yard.
They are a licensed kennel and are not in violation of any town or animal control policies, according to the town office.
Ames said Monday that he still plans to pursue legal action against New Balance as well as have the land surveyed again to determine the property line. New Balance completed its own survey in the fall, and a company spokesman has said that survey was the basis for New Balance installing a fence.
“The survey that they did is for their eyes only, and that makes it an issue,” John Ames said. According to the Somerset County Registry of Deeds, a deed is not required to have a survey attached.
According to Devoe, the fence is being built three feet from the property line on the New Balance side so that New Balance can maintain it without trespassing onto the Ames’ land.
John O’Donnell, a Waterville lawyer representing the Ameses, did not return a call for comment on Monday.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368 | [email protected]