KILLIAN -- Familiarity can breed contempt, and in a small town like the Village of Killian, it’s difficult to not be familiar with your neighbors.
That’s a why a dispute over a fence boiled over into an animated discussion about the role of the village in maintaining access to a road at the monthly Board of Aldermen meeting June 11.
At issue is a fence erected across the right of way on Killian Oaks. The gravel road is privately owned but allows right of use to residents in a development built by Billy Sim Smith. One resident, however, has taken action to restrict access to the end of the road.
Neighbors attended the Board of Aldermen meeting to ask the council what could be done. Utility trucks have difficulty navigating the roadway, being required to back all the way out to leave, the residents said.
Mayor Gillis Windham said there wasn’t much the village could do about the situation as the road is not owned by Killian. He said the matter as it stood was not a criminal issue but a civil one and that the only recourse for concerned citizens was to hire outside counsel.
Windham noted the town has recently begun maintaining the road as if it owned it and that under state law after three years of such maintenance, the road would in fact become the village’s property and responsibility. In the meantime, though, his hands were tied.
Alderman Blaine LeMaire said he spoke to the homeowner who erected the fence after the meeting.
“She said she was willing to take a look at taking it down,” he said before echoing Windham’s assessment. “There’s not much we can do as a municipality.”